Danny Dyer, actor, presenter and father to 14 year old Danni and 3½ year old Sunnie. He’s played every type of hardman from a football hooligan to a junkie clubber to, most recently, a serial killer and has carved out a bit of a role for himself as the Brit Flick Bad Boy, but when it comes to fatherhood he’s a big softie.
Hence, the Cool Mum Hunting team have developed a DD crush. It’s time to get personal…
As the ultimate Bad Boy (obviously in fiction not the real world) what advice would you give to your kids on dealing with bullies?
Always tell us (your parents), so we can deal with it directly either with the teachers, or the other kid’s parents. If that doesn’t work you’re screwed… unless you can knock them out with a big brother or sister (joke).
Truth is, don’t hide it from your family or it will bring you down.
Telling other people isn’t a cop out, it just cuts out the bullshit and ultimately bullying is just bullshit but when you’re the kid having to deal with it alone it’s a lot bigger issue but when you share the burden with team Dyer/the family, the family unit can step in and support you. That’s what family is all about.
How can you teach kids confidence?
You can’t teach confidence, it’s not a skill you can learn but you can fake it. I think as parents you make confident kids, it’s about what you do for them and the environment you create at home. You need to encourage them rather than push them and get them involved in what you do and let them hang out with other kids and be around “grown-ups” – kids should be seen and heard. We get all sorts passing through our house and the kids are always at the centre of everything we do.
We’re hooked, tell us more Mr Dyer…Cool Mum Hunting’s 12 Quick Qs:
1. What did your parents want you to be when you grew-up?
My dad always wanted me to be a footballer or a painter like him. It was my mum that encouraged me to be an actor. She says she spotted my talent from an early age, I did always manage to work my way into a school play, panto or whatever was on offer.
2. What are you top five essential kid purchases…?
Books, can’t get enough of them. I’ve been reading to my kids since they were babies. It’s probably the only time I can get their full attention and that they’ll actually listen to me – it’s great for bonding.
My girls love Barbies. Dani might be too old for them now but any excuse and she’s in there playing with Sunnie. I don’t mind, I encourage it. It’s all about role play and that great for the child’s imagination.
Every kid has to have a bike. Something you can take out to the park. Nothing too flash because they fall over, a lot, but, you know, falling over is important too. It’s all about overcoming fear and once those stabilizers come off it’s a whole different ball game.
iPad, it’s now their iPad. We’ve downloaded tons of apps, movies, the works. I don’t get a look in.
That’s probably why I have two SKY+ boxes, one for them (filled with Peppa Pig, Mr Men and the likes) and one for me because when they are in bed, there’s nothing better than a bit of me and West Ham time.
3. Best Kid Presents?
The best present I ever got given was my incredible hulk. I’ve still got it, although it’s missing an arm. For the kids, if you asked them they’d say the iPad but I bought it for me, they just stole it. Jo [Danny’s childhood sweetheart of 15 years, mother of their 2 daughters] does most of the buying in our house but whenever I’m away filming I always like to bring the girls something back.
4. Best book of all time?
5. I hated it when?
My dad used to say “in my day we never had blah blah blah” I say the same to Dani and I cringe as the words comes out of my mouth.
6. What are your green credentials?
I don’t recycle but Jo does, I leave that to her.
7. What good habit would you hope to pass on to your kids?
One good habit would be manners. I have manners and would be disappointed if they never.
8. What did you learn for your second kid, that you wish you’d known first time round…?
9. Slummy daddy confession???
I’m too cool for that (ha!). Actually, it’s quite hard being slummy when you’re in the public eye, I save all that for when I’m at home, then it’s a different ball game altogether.
10. 80′s or Noughties?
80s were much better, kids all played out, not waiting for a text to say you’ll be round, we made the walk and met up by making an effort. Kids only communicate now by the net or phones, silly. And we didn’t seem to be under pressure for the newest stuff out like clothes or technology. Kids today are too soft, we weren’t pampered as much as kids are now and we could deal with things better.
11. What scares you most about your kids future?
Everything scares me about my girls growing up.
…going out getting stabbed, boyfriends breaking their hearts. But I am excited about them being able to fend for themselves, then I will know I have done a good job, and I am excited about watching them achieve all that they want.
12. I want my girls to remember me as…
The most loving dad there could be. I never shy away from cuddles, what dad would? I hope I give them the confidence to deal with life and I want them to always think of me as their piggy bank, nah that’s a joke. I want them to achieve for themselves and I will always support them emotionally and financially but it ain’t about dishing things out on a plate, you’ve got to teach your kids hunger and ambition.
I’ll never let them down and I’ll never judge them on their mistakes.