Jenna Dewan Tatum's Daughter Everly Has a 'Strong Sense of Self': 'I Try and Teach Her to Be an Individual'

Actress, dancer and designer Jenna Dewan Tatum chats with PEOPLE about how she's preparing daughter Everly to face the critics

Young Living "Scents Of Self" Activation During Fashion Week
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty

Jenna Dewan Tatum is very much aware of the fact that it’s much harder to be a young woman these days.

“There [are] definitely apprehensions I have about raising a child in the new social media day and age. There’s no guide book,” she told PEOPLE Thursday at the New York Fashion Week Young Living Essential Oils event. “We’re starting to see now how that’s affecting young people.”

While her daughter Everly is only 4, unfortunately it won’t be long before she’s faced with the harsh critics of the world, especially being in the public eye. But don’t worry — the Young Living Guest Scent Curator and Danskin designer has a plan in place.

“Starting early and starting to build her confidence in her true authenticity and herself is important,” the World of Dance host says of how she teaches Everly about self esteem. “Because then when the influences come in that will try and tell her, ‘You’re not great’ and ‘You’re not amazing,’ she’ll have that strong sense of reminding.”

Explains Dewan Tatum, 36, who parents Everly alongside husband Channing Tatum, “I try and teach her to be an individual and find things she’s good at … and facilitating these things so her confidence builds at a young age.”

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Luckily, it seems the Step Up alum‘s daughter — who loves swimming and gymnastics — is already pretty strong. “She’s very creative and has a very strong sense of self,” Dewan Tatum praises.

Everly’s personality comes through in her style, like the very creative makeup job she did on her mother earlier this week and the outfit she wore out with dad Tatum recently: a pink and frilly Disney Princess dress.

“She’s equally princessy and tomboy,” Dewan Tatum explains. “We went through a phase when she only wore purple and then we went through a phase when she only wore princess dresses. I was just happy to get her out of pajamas and express herself.”

And the little girl takes after her mother in her appreciation of essential oils. “I use them on Everly,” the actress admits. “I use lavender a lot on her because she’s very active.”

“I call her a very active 4-year-old,” she adds, laughing. “Calming her down before bed is very important.”

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Dewan Tatum also uses Young Living’s R.C. oil and Thieves oil on Everly often, because “she’s always coming back from preschool with a million germs, so it’s essential. They’re completely naturally antibacterial.”

Everly favors Young Living’s rolling applicators. “She likes the roller lavender that’s called Tranquil,” says Dewan Tatum. “She’s like, ‘Mommy, do the smiley face.’ And I [draw a smiley face with it] on her feet.”

Continues the star, “Sometimes I forget, and she’s like, ‘You forgot to put the oils on my feet.’ Could be procrastination for bed, also could be because she likes it. But I do it.”

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