Channing Tatum: kids ‘come out how they’re going to be,’ you get 10-15% influence

Channing Tatum has a new-ish interview with Fatherly promoting his second Sparkella children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella Makes a Plan. The first one, The One and Only Sparkella, came out in May of last year and parents love it. (It has 4.8 stars, over 1,000 ratings and an A on Fakespot.) To Fatherly, Channing mentions his fears about being a single parent to his daughter, Everly, nine. His approach is just to figure out what Everly likes and participate in that with her, whether it’s building a funky birdhouse or playing dress up. It’s really quite sweet and child-centric. He talks a lot about being there for his daughter, both physically and emotionally. You can tell he’s worked hard on this and that his books are an extension of that. Here’s some of that interview, and there’s much more at the source. He gets kind of deep at times.

On playing with his daughter
I’ve never been more creative in any movie or any creative venture I’ve ever done than I have been with my daughter…

My experience was just to go into her world and just be there with her. If she likes dragons, I’ll go be a dragon. If she likes witches, I’ll become a warlock. It’s really sort of that simple.

You don’t even need to be cute. You could just put on the dress and still be yourself. And it’s just going to be even funnier to them. Like you could be as grumpy and as tough and whatever as you want to be, wear the tiara.

On being fully present as a parent
Man, some days, 5 o’clock rolls around. I’m like my daughter’s been home for about an hour and a half, and then she’s just like, “Let’s play this.” And I’m like, “Oh, no. I just don’t have it in me today.”

But she knows when I’m not being really creative because I’ve given her too much too early. And I tried too hard too early, and she’s just like, “Dad, you’re phoning it in,” or she’s like, “Come on, play for real,” when she knows I’m phoning it in and I’m just tired.

The best advice he received about being a dad
I remember I was kind of stressed about becoming a dad, and I was on set talking to someone and said, “I’m having a girl… I feel like I’m going to screw this up.”

And this guy says to me, “I have four of them.” And I said, “Yeah, how’d that go?” And he’s like, “Look, let me just say this. They basically come out how they’re going to be. They come out who they are. You got about 10% to 15% on either end to affect the whole. As long as you love them, you’re going to be fine.”

I had Evie and I really understood what he meant because Evie came out who she was. There was so much already in the software that I didn’t teach her…

So I do believe there’s a certain part of kids that comes with the package. Like it just comes already predetermined. And as a parent, you have to teach them how they get to see you experience the world and how much you love them. And that 10% to 15% on either end of the thing is a lot and it can affect a lot.

[From Fatherly]

When my son was little he loved playing Minecraft, watching educational videos and learning things, and of course he’s still like that. As Channing mentioned, he’s always been this way! When he was little I would try to play Minecraft, although I would get lost easily and found it frustrating. It’s so impressive that little kids learn those formulas and strategies. I can’t play his games now but I try to understand them. When he was in grade school I would watch his math and science videos and ask him to explain them to me. It may not be our world, but we can join in. Channing understands that and is consciously working at it. It’s a joy to hear a celebrity dad explain parenthood like that. I also think he’s an underrated actor! He was great in Dog and I wish more people saw it. Magic Mike 3 can’t come soon enough.

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22 Responses to “Channing Tatum: kids ‘come out how they’re going to be,’ you get 10-15% influence”

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  1. Colby says:

    Barring abuse that turns a kid sideways, I tend to agree.

    • ME says:

      Life experiences can change a child that is for sure. I also believe how the parent treats their child has a lot to do with how the child develops into an adult. Favoring one child over the other. Neglecting the child. Putting too much pressure on a child to succeed. Not to mention those that have parents who are racist/homophobic, etc. That all affects a child’s brain. I think as an immigrant child who moved to a new country as a kid, it really changed who I am. I think had we not moved, I’d be a completely different person who grew up completely different. So much shapes a child. Look at the poor kids in war torn countries. That sh*t is going to affect them in ways we can’t even imagine.

      • Colby says:

        You’re 100% right. I probably should have said “barring adverse life experiences” as abuse is included in that but so are all the other things you mentioned and then some

      • Amy Too says:

        This is such an interesting conversation. Would you say that your actual personality was changed or developed differently? Or is more just like the way you viewed the world and interacted with it was different? Is it the actual personality that changes, or is just that on the pre-programmed spectrum of personality, you spent more time leaning towards the negative end of the spectrum rather than the positive end?

        My mother has BPD, and I think about these sorts of things a lot. Who would I be if I was raised in an emotionally safer and healthier home? Who would I be if I had grown up in a home where a healthy attachment style was modeled and taught (as opposed to avoidant or fearful attachment style)? I don’t know that my mom actually changed my personality and the core of who I was, I think it’s just that I spent more time living in the negative side of my personality as opposed to the positive side of my personality. I interacted with her and developed coping skills that made sense for my personality (even if they triggered negative consequences in my life later on), but if she had been mentally well, I wouldn’t have had to interact with her in those ways or develop those coping mechanisms.

      • ME says:

        @ Amy Too

        I found your comment every interesting. You make so many good points. When we moved countries as a kid, we left our extended family behind. I went to a pretty much all-White school. It was a huge change. I became reserved and very shy. The kids didn’t talk to me unless they were bullying me. It was tough. Had we not moved, I can gaurantee I would have been more social and enjoyed childhood more. I don’t think I would have been bullied and called racist names. It shaped me and who I became. I’m a good person, that would have stayed the same no matter where I lived, but the bullying left a mark on me. It made me not want to even try to be friends with poeple or be close to them. I don’t know, but I do think your environment plays a huge part of your personality and who you become as an adult.

    • SophieJara says:

      That was my first thought too Colby. That Channing probably has a lot of healthy, well rounded people who weren’t abused (or had lots of therapy) in his life. My childhood had a lot of not great parts, but I had a pretty stable, very loving mother. A lot of the kids I grew up with never put all the pieces back together. I would say parenting is everything, but meaning the foundation, not the bells and whistles.

    • NorthernGirl_20 says:

      Nature vs nurture debate

      • Colby says:

        Im Team Nature. My mom raised me, I saw my dad a few times a year. I am his clone at more core, in terms of personality. My mom was able to smooth some edges but the reality is I am a mini version of him.

  2. Sapphire.Topaz says:

    Has he checked with Duchess Keen of the early years? Because she knows a LOT.

    • samipup says:

      QOW Thank-you!

    • duchessL says:

      She’ll says the pie chart says they’re a 78% chance that Channing know early years are important. Took her 8 years to come up with that pie chart and she got the conclusion wrong.

    • The BRF is full of Ghouls! says:

      She’s still busy “learning” about the early years from her various daycare visits.

  3. Hyrule Castle says:

    Nature vs nurture has always interested me.
    My kids, their unique characteristics were present from birth.
    We’ve helped channel them, helped with identifying emotions so they are easier to understand, for example, but the underlying auto response is there.

    ETA: I’d never seen a Channing movie until The Lost City, he was pretty good in it! We liked it.

  4. K says:

    Look how much he loves her. ❤️

  5. SolitaryAngel says:

    Ok, so I just fell in love with you, Charming Tater. 🥰

  6. Silent Star says:

    This is so heart warming and makes me like him a lot. What a great example to other men.

    I agree with the 10-15% influence, but only as far as personality, skills and interests are concerned, and if it’s a relatively healthy home environment. Parents can still mess up a kid’s mental health nearly 100% with abuse and neglect. But I agree they can’t change their core personality too much.

  7. Ihatepeople says:

    I agree with him 100%. That has been my experience with parenting as well.

  8. Abby says:

    Channing as a dad is my favorite facet of him.

  9. Malificent says:

    Yeah, they are who they are from even before they come out. Barring extreme situations in their environment, I think most kids are hardwired to be who they are.

    I love that Channing takes so much joy in his daughter. But as a single (and sole) parent with a much more modest income, who is feeling particularly beleaguered this week, I would like to also give a shout-out to Channing’s personal assistant, housekeeper, gardener, (and maybe personal chef), whose efforts allow him to spend so much quality time with his daughter.

    • Laalaa says:

      As a person who grew up with a single (and sole) parent, I salute you and your amazing effort and I am here to tell you there will come a time when your child is grown, and you will see how much they appreciate what you did for them as a child. We start to realize how hard it actually was for you only when we become adults – I am now in a commited relationship where everything is shared and I can’t stop thinking how much easier it is for me than it was for my mum!

  10. Nicole says:

    I can probably believe this. However, nurture plays a part when we must learn to deal with the more challenging parts of ourselves (ADHD, anxiety, depression, addiction, etc.). I didn’t have much in the way of learning to navigate any of my challenging parts, but I hope I’m giving my kids the tools to help them function into their adulthood. <3

  11. Normades says:

    I’m an only child so I’ve always been fascinated how different siblings can be. My husband and his brother have similar tastes and political leanings but emotionally they could not be any different. I think it’s how Chan said, they just come out into the world as they are