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Why Channing Tatum wants to parent differently than he was raised

The actor also revealed that his own daughter "lives just to mess with me all day long."
/ Source: TODAY

Channing Tatum has his hands full raising a daughter.

Tatum, who shares Everly, 10, with ex-wife Jenna Dewan, said he can’t define his philosophy as a parent, but he knows he’s doing his best.

“I have no idea. I don’t know,” he laughed while appearing May 30 on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. “I’m just trying to get by, I think just like every other parent, you’re just kind of trying not to mess kids up, but you know you’re going to on some level.”

The “Magic Mike” star, 43, said he anticipated being the kind of father who “was going to probably get my kid into more trouble than I kept her out of,” but learned that children crave rules to follow, his own daughter included.

“Even though they don’t want boundaries, they do want boundaries,” he said. “Her anxiety goes down, her stress level goes down when she just understands the rules.”

Tatum’s newest children’s book, “The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie,” went on sale May 30. It’s the third book in the “Sparkella” series. As a single dad, Tatum said he was “nervous” about raising a girl and “Sparkella” was born from that.

“I was looking up YouTube on how to braid hair. Like, I didn’t want to be the dad that was just delivering a kid to school looking like she had just slept on the street,” he said.

“This series of books kind of came from that," he continued. "It was really trying to figure out how to talk to a little girl. I was raised very, very different. South — dad just, ‘Touch that again, you’re going to get a whipping’ sort of situation and we don’t spank Evy, so it’s one of those gentle kind of things, but having to learn where to be strong, where to be firm, but not in the way I was.”

Tatum also said he believes kids are born with their own personalities with the opportunity to change to a certain degree. And that makes for a challenging experience when it comes to his own daughter, who keeps him on his toes.

“I think they really do come out like almost how they’re going to be. You have like 10% on either end, which is a lot, to affect the center,” he said. “But she was a contrarian before she knew what an opposite was. She loves tricking people. She lives just to mess with me all day long.”

When Hoda shared that Jenna had recently seen Taylor Swift in concert with her daughters, Tatum said his daughter would like to catch a show as well, before revealing her unique taste in music.

“Evy’s a little weird. She’s been listening to Celtic Irish music. She’s a dancer. She loves Celtic Irish dancing,” the "Step Up" star said.

How did that interest start?

“I don’t know. She loves anything magical, fairies, elves,” he said.

“And when you look on YouTube or whatever, all the clip art to Celtic music are fairies. So I think that’s how we started it. And then she became obsessed with Celtic music. Now we’re doing Celtic Irish dancing. So that’s all we listened to for the last two years.”