So Peter Andre has won the 'Celebrity Dad of the Year' award for the second year in a row, an award that he took from that saintly dad and pillar of society; John Terry, back in 2009. An award that seems to be so ridiculous in its choice of candidates, that I fully expect Ryan Giggs to be a front runner next year.
Now I don't doubt that Peter Andre loves his children, and that he is a good father, but I worry that the notion of being a good parent seems to be on how much reality TV you appear in or how much dirt is dished about your private life.
To me the measure of a good parent is one who quietly goes about their business. They don't overly spoil their children, they try to keep them away from the glaring eyes of the gutter press and try their level best to give them a safe, solid and secure upbringing. Regardless of whether they have got divorced or not.
Starring in a reality TV series (actually not one, but two if you include Katie Price's offering) does not achieve that. I can't help but wonder what psychological damage the pair of them are doing to their kids. Seeing your parents divorce and hearing all the bitterness and bile that can get exchanged is bad enough for most kids, but to have it done so publicly must have a terrible effect on them, if not now then certainly later on in life.
Children should be allowed to be themselves and grow up without a camera crew following their every move in a bid to win their talentless parents more money and notoriety.
To see them be used so publicly as pawns to score points against each other as Price and Andre have done in the past, and then their every milestone moment that should be private used as celebrity magazine fodder pisses me off immensely.
Peter Andre was a washed up, 90s one hit wonder until he met and married Katie Price. Their sham of marriage made them millions and the only reason Peter Andre is still famous is because he is "against" Price, in some TV & magazine staged team event that makes both of them look like the thoroughly despicable people they are. Andre knows that whilst he still has a connection to Price, he can still make money. That connection is, of course, his children.
He could have just gone off and concentrated on his singing career (I use this term in the loosest sense), but no, he needed to fight back with a 'fly on the wall' documentary series of his own that feature his children heavily. Because without that connection he is no-body again.
My real question though is, just who chooses the candidates? Apparently Wayne Rooney was a candidate! Is this the same Wayne Rooney that cheated on the mother of his child whilst he was still in the womb? With a prostitute? Again? Other candidates include Elton John & David Furnish, what makes them better fathers than anyone else other than they have an extraordinary amount of money and a novelty gay angle? James Corden has been a Dad for all of 5 minutes so he's hardly done anything to warrant being up for an award.
The whole list is made up of men who are currently news-worthy, their actual fatherly skills have nothing to do with anything as far as I can see.
Where are the real dads? Those who are famous (preferably for having some discerning talent, rather than just being famous) who aren't in the papers every week for their philandering? Where are the dads who occasionally get papped taking their kids out on a Sunday morning to fly kites in the local park, or to football practice? Where are those fathers whose take on quality time with their children does not involve a ITV2 or Living camera crew?
For more reading on this subject Muddling Along Mummy has written a brilliant post for her Friday Rant and Emily at Real Parenting covers celebrity parents at large.