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Single dad Channing Tatum says he's realized kids want boundaries and 'crave rules to follow'

Single dadhood entails many responsibilities, such as taking care of your child and managing your household, and Tatum is no alien to those feelings.

Single dad Channing Tatum says he's realized kids want boundaries and 'crave rules to follow'
Cover Image Source: Channing Tatum attends the UK Special Screening of "The Lost City" at Cineworld Leicester Square on March 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Channing Tatum is a proud single dad to his 10-year-old daughter, Everly, who he said "wants boundaries." In a recent chat on May 30 on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, the 43-year-old said he is trying to get by as a parent.

"I think just like every other parent, you’re just kind of trying not to mess kids up, but you know you are going to on some level," he admitted. The "Lost City" actor revealed that although he initially thought he would be a father who “was going to probably get my kid into more trouble than I kept her out of,” he has since learned that children "crave rules to follow."

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



 

Being a single parent can be very challenging, and understandably, one might be overwhelmed by keeping up with their kid. It entails many responsibilities, such as taking care of a child, managing a household and working to provide for a family, and Tatum is no alien to those feelings.

His newest children’s book, “The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie,” went on sale May 30. 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.

Image Source: Channing Tatum speaks onstage before he signs copies of his new children's book
Image Source: Channing Tatum speaks onstage before he signs copies of his new children's book "The One and Only Sparkella Makes A Plan" at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on June 01, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for ABA)

The "Step Up" actor added, “This series of books kind of came from that. It was trying to figure out how to talk to a little girl. I was raised very differently. 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.”

While speaking to PEOPLE about his book, Tatum noted that writing a book was something he did not think he would do. "It wasn't like I had this giant idea that I wanted to write a kids' book," he said of the book's inspiration. "It was just something that I noticed in my daughter, watching her for the very first time become self-conscious."



 

The book narrates the story of a young girl named Ella, who gets teased at school for her love of sparkly things. However, with Dad's encouragement, Ella courageously continues wearing glittery ribbons and disco-ball shoes to school. Tatum recalled when Everly was hesitant to wear a cape she loved to preschool, saying, "It was one of her favorites. But she didn't want to wear it to school, and when I asked her why, she said, 'I don't want to get made fun of.' So I wanted to make this little story about this girl who is very unique and likes to shine."

He dedicated the book to his daughter and wrote in the inscription. "To Everly, the most brilliant magical being I have ever known. You are my greatest teacher."



 

Tatum, who shares Everly with ex-wife Jenna Dewan, said he is doing his best as a father and shared that his daughter constantly keeps him on his toes due to her changing moods and personalities. “I think they 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 loves to mess with me all day long.”

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