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Why Mark Wahlberg sits in the car at his kids' sports games

The "Joe Bell" actor is dad to Ella, Michael, Brendan and Grace.
/ Source: TODAY

Mark Wahlberg plays by his kids’ rules — and that means cheering them on from a distance.

“Me being in the public eye, there are a lot of pros to that, but there’s a lot of cons,” Wahlberg told “Entertainment Tonight.” “My kids wanna have their own identity, you know? (So) I’m not allowed to get out of the car at a football practice or a game. I gotta sit in the car and watch.”

The Oscar-nominated actor, who shares children Ella, 17, Michael, 15, Brendan, 12, and Grace, 11, with wife Rhea Durham, said that he initially took their request personally.

“Because I wanna be there to support them,” he explained. “But supporting them is making them feel comfortable in what they’re doing and them having their own identity too.”

Wahlberg, who used to coach Michael's football team, added, “It’s very difficult."

Last year, Wahlberg opened up about being shot down by Ella at a father-daughter school dance.

“I didn’t get one dance,” he recalled on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “She said, ‘Dad, if you embarrass me, I will never talk to you again.’”

The rejection didn't come as a total surprise. Wahlberg told People in 2018 that raising a teenage girl is “tough.”

“But people say that they pass through it and they come back to you,” he said. “She wants to be off and doing her own thing. (There’s) a lot of attitude, a lot of aggression, a lot of, ‘You’re the worst, you ruin everything!’”

It appears that things have looked up since then. Durham recently shared a photo of Wahlberg and Ella locked in a sweet embrace.