Channing Tatum, known for his roles in movies like Magic Mike, recently opened up about his experiences as a single dad during an appearance on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna. The 43-year-old actor shared insights into his parenting journey and how his latest children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie, has helped him navigate fatherhood.
When asked about the kind of parent he is, Tatum humorously admitted, “I have no idea, I don’t know. I’m just trying to get by.” He further expressed that like any other parent, his goal is to avoid messing up his children. He acknowledged that as they grow older, it becomes important to establish boundaries, even though kids may resist them.
Tatum emphasized the significance of rules and boundaries in reducing his daughter Everly’s anxiety and stress levels. He referred to these guidelines as “house rules” and mentioned simple expectations such as cleaning up after oneself and maintaining personal hygiene.
“And weirdly, kids, even though they don’t want boundaries, they do want boundaries. Her anxiety goes down, her stress level goes down when she just understands the rules. And they’re not even your rules, we call them the house rules.”
Those house rules include “you gotta always take your plate to the sink, you gotta pick up your clothes, you gotta brush your teeth — just really normal, simple stuff.”
The conversation also touched on Tatum’s unexpected transition to single fatherhood and how it influenced his writing of the Sparkella book series. He candidly shared that becoming a single dad was not part of his plans, and he felt nervous about parenting a girl. Tatum revealed that he even resorted to watching YouTube tutorials on braiding hair to ensure he could take care of Everly’s appearance.
Asked if the character helped him learn how to parent, the actor replied, “I didn’t plan to be a single dad, that was not in the cards [or] in my planning at the least. And I was pretty nervous. I was like, ‘She’s a girl.’ I was like looking up YouTube on how to braid her hair. I didn’t want to be the dad who was bringing her to school looking like she had just slept on the street. So yeah, this series of books kind of came from that. It was me really figuring out how to talk to a little girl.”
The actor expressed that the Sparkella books were born out of his desire to learn how to communicate effectively with his daughter. Through the character Sparkella, Tatum aimed to convey messages of empowerment and self-confidence to young readers while navigating his own personal journey as a father.
During the interview, Tatum also mentioned Everly’s interests, including her desire to see Taylor Swift in concert and her passion for Celtic Irish music and dancing. He shared how Everly’s fascination with magical creatures like fairies led them to explore Celtic music, which has now become a significant part of their lives.