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Tyler Perry Shares His Secret to Being a Great Father to His Son

In an intimate interview with Oprah, the powerhouse producer and director discusses his father's influence and his dedication to being a nurturing parent.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published February 21, 2024
Tyler Perry on The Kelly Clarkson Show - Season 5 February 2024
Image: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Despite building a billion-dollar media empire and revolutionizing filmmaking, Tyler Perry finds himself grappling with the same uncertainties that many face when it comes to parenthood, proving that even a world-renowned director isn’t immune to the challenges of wondering if he’ll measure up as a father.

In an intimate interview with Oprah released on February 21, the powerhouse producer delved into his relationship with his father and how he works to be a good father to his 9-year-old son Aman Tyler Perry. “I worried because I didn’t have an example, because this man was just awful, right?” he said in response to being asked how he knew he would be a good father. “One day I was praying about it, looking in the mirror, and I’m like, ‘God, what do I do?’ And the answer came to me as clear as day: Do it in reverse.”

Perry continued to outline what guidance he needed from his father and how he’s tried to do “the reverse” when it comes to being an “incredible father” to his son. “I show my son love and encouragement, and I stand with him when he’s wrong. I straighten him up,” he said. “I chastise him the right way so that he understands that the correction is done in love. Everything that man didn’t do.”

Perry does tell Winfrey that the exception to this was that his dad was “a great provider,” something Perry clearly already has down. “(He) worked his ass off every day, sunup to sundown. Made sure that the money was coming into the house, made sure all the bills were paid, everything that my mother wanted him to do financially was there as best he could.”

In the new The Life Your Want Class: Resilience, debuting February 21 at 4pm, Perry and Winfrey discuss growing from trauma, learning to forgive and understanding grief. You can watch it at OprahDaily.com.

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