Michael Weatherly on Spending More Time with His Kids After Leaving NCIS: ‘I’m Wrapped Around Their Little Fingers’

05/18/2016 at 01:30 PM ET

Just like his character on NCISMichael Weatherly is just a big teddy bear underneath his tough exterior.

The actor recently spoke to PEOPLE about being excited to spend more time with his family after his last-ever episode of the long-running show airs Tuesday.

“The kids are very excited to have me around, mostly because I’m wrapped around their little fingers,” Weatherly, 47, says. “I’m just a sucker and I’m trying very hard to be authority dad.”

Francis Specker/CBS/Getty

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Weatherly, who is dad to Olivia, 4, and Liam, 2½, with his wife of 6½ yearsBojana Jankovic, describes the difficulties of balancing a career with being a present father.

“As a lot of working parents know, when you’re not around a lot and then you’re with your kids, it’s very hard to just come in and be the strict one because then you’re just an assh—,” he said. “But you don’t want to be too soft.”

Whatever his parenting style, Weatherly is just happy to be around his kids.

“I think a lot about the kids and the time I get to spend with them now, at this age of 4 and 2½, which is such a critical time,” he explains. “They just have some extraordinary things going on in their lives and they have great questions for me about why frogs and crickets make sort of the same sound.”

He’ll have plenty of time to answer these questions during their upcoming family vacation.

“We’re planning a big trip to Jamaica this summer where we will spend lots of time doing, as Daddy Pig on Peppa Pig says, ‘We’re going to do a lot of nothing,’ ” Weatherly says, before adding: “By the way, I am so deep in Peppa Pig world right now, I can’t even — just watch the first 10 seconds and you’ll completely have seen every episode.”

— Andrea Park and Brittany King

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 2 comments

megan on

A shame his oldest son, now 20, never got that kind of time with him

Katelyn Moran on

Yes,divorce can be hard on the children. Michael Weatherly flew back to nyc every weekend and spent every free moment that his schedule allowed with August.