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Tyler Perry gives parenting advice

Tyler Perry is shown here at the second annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala, held April 4, in New York. Photo credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The Steve Harvey Foundation. Photos were provided to the AJC by W&W Public Relations.

Tyler Perry is shown here at the second annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala, held April 4, in New York. Photo credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The Steve Harvey Foundation. Photos were provided to the AJC by W&W Public Relations.

Tyler Perry wants parents to step up.

In an emotional essay posted today on his blog, he told his fans about how the sight of a guy crossing the street holding the hand of his toddler made him tear up.

“Why did I have such a strong emotional reaction to this father and son? It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was because I never had those kind of experiences, never knew that kind of unconditional joy, never knew what it felt like to be wanted and adored as a child.”

Perry, who is currently filming “I, Alex Cross” in Cleveland, has talked frequently about suffering abuse as a child. Not quite a year ago, he went on his friend Oprah Winfrey’s show to reveal the painful secrets from his childhood. He discussed, in great candor, physical abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his father, and sexual abuse by several others.

“I feel like I died as a child,” Perry said during the Oprah appearance. “My father – he hated me so much and I couldn’t understand why. I was sickly all the time, I had asthma. He hated that about me.”

Here is a link to the full article.

Despite his difficult childhood, Perry has said he supports his father today. His mother, whom he adored, has passed away.

“I wonder if the man I called ‘Daddy’ as a child, knew then what he knows now, would he have treated me any differently?” Perry wrote in his essay. “If he had known, the little boy that depended on him for food and shelter would grow up to be a man that he would have to depend on for food and shelter, would he have made different choices?”

Before his mother died, Perry wrote, she marveled at the success he had become and how well he was able to provide for her.

“I get so much joy knowing that I could and I did,” Perry wrote. “That lets me sleep at night. Mom, I thank you! You helped me be able to do that. God bless you!”

He closed his essay with a challenge: “It’s for every parent, the good and the bad. DO YOU KNOW who is in your house? DO YOU KNOW whom you’re raising, and will the child that you delivered, have to deliver you in your old age? Think about it, and know that when you kiss that innocent face of your child, you kiss the face of God.”

The essay has been linked to and circulated numerous times. Among the many fans tweeting it out to their followers are actor Boris Kodjoe and his wife, actress Nicole Ari Parker, who live in Atlanta with their children.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

80 comments Add your comment

Y. Decarlo

August 15th, 2011
9:16 pm

Love begets love

justin

August 15th, 2011
10:53 pm

God bless you Mr. Perry

PB

August 15th, 2011
11:20 pm

You now must find it in yourself to GIVE what you didn’t get.

Nonia

August 16th, 2011
12:05 am

This dude tries so very hard to mimic Oprah Winfrey…….. Mr. Perry like Oprah Winfrey, needs to be a parent to know what parenting is to advise others on parenting.
Since he will more than likely never be a parent, he should stick to humanitarian work in helping communities with his fortunes, and producing items that entertain us-

Nonia

August 16th, 2011
12:08 am

Parenting is not “one size fits all”-

I'm a mother

August 16th, 2011
12:39 am

Mr Perry has every right to speak on parenting! He knows what he lacked as a child and has a right to speak on it. I also did not know the love of a parent growing up- even though my mother and step father were there. I was the oldest of 6 kids. I also know about abuse. Parents- show your kids some love-guide them and teach them- some day you will answer for it.

Bohannon

August 16th, 2011
1:12 am

Boris Kodjoe and his wife, Nicole Ari Parker no longer live in Atlanta; they live in Southern California.

Bohannon

August 16th, 2011
1:19 am

@Nonia, of course he’ll be a parent one day. A homosexual man, especially those as famous and rich as Tyler Perry, will have no problem finding and paying a surrogate mother to deliver a biological son or daughter to him for a fee. It’s what Elton John and his partner did and they are totally accepted as legal, biological (at least one of them) and emotional “parents”. And while it may raise some eyebrows in the community (or even protests in some of our churches), all I can say is that child will be one of the luckiest kids ever born since it will be like having won the lottery as it enters the world with an inheritance the rest of us could only dream of.

Amada

August 16th, 2011
6:16 am

Based on two of the stories in the AJC about the murder of two children and one at the hands of his own father it is a timely message. The abused should speak because children are defenseless and cannot stop the abuse or the abusers without help from an adult. This will stop some abuser or some parent from overlooking the signs and prevent the life long suffering of the victims. It is sorrowful that so any are so callous and clueless to the effects and the death of so many children.

Sandra

August 16th, 2011
6:32 am

Commenters never fail to amaze me. Did I miss something? When did Tyler Perry reveal his sexual preference to the world? And as much as I believe in “first hand experience”…their are a few subjects that one can advise on without having to actually be a participant…i.e. I don’t need to swallow a razor blade to advise against the danger. It just stands to reason that doing so would NOT be a good thing. Mr. Perry doesn’t care what any of us THINK. He’s busy creating ways to minister through his misery. If we would all get busy doing just that, we wouldn’t have time to be critical.(sigh)

Justin

August 16th, 2011
8:09 am

@ Sandra……VERY WELL SAID!!!

carla roqs

August 16th, 2011
8:10 am

sandra…ummm, i kinda wondered as well when he came out of the closet so to speak… the jury is still out on that one. but… just as you do not accept advice on keeping a man from a woman who cannot keep one– who needs advice on raising a child from someone who has not done so? honestly, there are so many circumstantial situations that can come about that the person who said “one size fits all” was correct.

carla roqs

August 16th, 2011
8:11 am

oops, misquote: the person who said “one size DOES NOT fit all” was correct.

Paula

August 16th, 2011
8:11 am

It’s sad that people find something negative to say no matter the good intentions of Tyler’s comments.

dbm

August 16th, 2011
8:11 am

This is funny – parenting advice from a transvestite. He’s only trying to sell his next movie/book/fashion wear for older black ladies. The black christian community never ceases to amaze me. If you are openly gay they will damn you to hell. If you hide it and pretend to play by the rules, you’re all right in their book. Churches need to stop spreading hate.

queenatl

August 16th, 2011
8:14 am

Tyler Perry giving parenting advice makes as much sense as O.J. Simpson giving marriage advice!!!!!!!!!

mamibo

August 16th, 2011
8:29 am

Can anyone say that anything Tyler said was false? We all know he is not a parent but the “advice” he gave was absolutely right on.

kew

August 16th, 2011
8:31 am

Sounds like all these negative Tyler people are jealous of Tyler Perry’s success. And I bet most of them are black people…WOW…his own people. Well I’m for all the good things Perry does. Keep it up Tyler.

kew

August 16th, 2011
8:35 am

You don’t have to be a parent to give good parenting advice. Were any of you back in slavery days? No but you learn from others and pass it on to your children…right? Well, you can learn how to be a good parent by learning from your mom and dad – and from others. C’mon people get a life!!!!

carla roqs

August 16th, 2011
8:42 am

kew? kew? kew? what exactly do slavery days have to do with this blog…granted i skipped a little here and there…but, hunh? slavery days? you know some people act as if those days still prevail. are you one of those?

arataba

August 16th, 2011
8:54 am

Nonia – if you could read, you would know that he isn’t writing from the point of view of the parent, but for the view of a child that was abused. Go back to elementary and learn to comprehend what you are reading! Then again, you are probably a product of the vicious cycle that plagues this great country.

Jennifer Brett

August 16th, 2011
9:02 am

Bohannon:

Thanks, I did not know they had moved. I went to a party at their Atlanta home once. It was a very nice place!

Jennifer

@ arataba

August 16th, 2011
9:08 am

LOL! I laughed so hard. THANK YOU…well said.
I don’t understand why so many could hate on a well intended comment. Where is the harm or inaccuracy in what he said? smh

Me

August 16th, 2011
9:11 am

Funny how one takes the title and run…did you all really read the article? He’s speaking of his situation, what happened to him, how it made him feel and wonders if the things his father know now would change how he treated him. In the end, he is simply asking parents to be involoved…not tell you how to raise little Timmy…again drawing from his personal experience.

REALly

August 16th, 2011
9:26 am

@sandra..well said @nonia-youre right its not one size fits all but then again…theres really not such thing as “one size fits all”
I dont think what Tyler said was parenting advice but more so a chin check…meant to be thought provoking.

speakinmymind

August 16th, 2011
9:28 am

that’s just it…folks don’t read and/or comprehend. nowhere in his essay is he speaking from the standpoint of being a parent. his view is that of an abused child asking the questions we all ask from time to time…if i (in his case his father) knew then what i know now, would i have made a different decision.

folks are so quick to be defensive or negatively judge someone else’s opinion or situation without even fully comprehending what was said.

trevon

August 16th, 2011
9:32 am

Enter your comments here

trevon

August 16th, 2011
9:33 am

When you hate on someone, you block your blessingsssssss

Veroinca (Georgia Peach)

August 16th, 2011
9:47 am

God bless you Mr. Perry . You are a wonderful man and a beautiful human being. Please, continue to empower people, especially our black men.

good day

August 16th, 2011
9:57 am

I’m not a big fan of Mr. Perry, because he is only getting rich off the poor.
In this case everything he is saying is true & real! Most of the kids out here today are looking to find out who they are. That’s why most women today are lost, when it comes to life. I’m not even going to speak on these lost ass MAMA BOYS out here!!!
In order to know where your going, you have to know who you are!

Loving This Opp!

August 16th, 2011
10:00 am

Good morning! Although a person may not have any children, doesn’t negate what they have to say on parenting. Growing up, I knew one thing I wouldn’t do if I ever was blessed with children. I am sassy by nature so my quick mouth got me in a lot of trouble. I was slapped all the time. I vowed that I would never slap my child in the face. I never wanted my child to cringe whenever I raised my arm. When I raised my arm, my child had to know it was to extend a hug. My child is now 17 and thus far, I’ve kept that vow!

Mr. Perry, keep on keeping on. You’ve survived a lot and you still assist those that hurt you the most. Bitterness gets a person NO WHERE. KUDOS!!!

Grandma

August 16th, 2011
10:02 am

I appreciate what Mr. Perry is doing, and if he can help just one child who is in a similar situation, his work will not be in vain. Too many children are in homes where there is nothing but anger, neglect, and hate. Children deserve better and I think he is only asking people to see the consequences when you don’t do what God asked and that is love one another. He’s asking parents to parent their children and love their children, sometimes by simply holding onto a little hand so that that child feels support. Just look at some of our youth, you don’t have to look far to see what happens when a child does not get love.

Loving This Opp!

August 16th, 2011
10:02 am

“In order to know where your going, you have to know who you are!”

I’ll add on that. You also have to know where you came from!

Justin

August 16th, 2011
10:17 am

It’s such a blessing to finally read positive comments in regard to Mr. Perry!

Michele Bachmann

August 16th, 2011
10:23 am

One day, Tyler Perry will make a great mother. His partner must be so proud.

PrettyGirl

August 16th, 2011
10:31 am

Now as adults, we have time to reflect on the pass. However, our parents had so much to deal with so they could not really think of the “what ifs.” It was always about our immediate needs. Now, God has bless us that we are in the position to plan for 401Ks and 529s.
So I try to find a place in my heart to forgive.

laura phillips

August 16th, 2011
10:37 am

AS a mother ,grandmother it’sa horon too see my sons beening father and their fATHERS beening a father and a grandfather the love you see in the eyes of father grandfather it’s pricless moving in my heartI SO HAPPY THAT LIFE OF LOVE LIVE IN THESE MEN S I BORN IN THIS WORLD I THANK GOD FOR ME TOO SEE GRACE HE GAVE ME YOU SEE I LOVE MY HUSBAND,SONS,GRANDCHIDRENS EYES THAT SEE

Light

August 16th, 2011
10:44 am

What I got from the article is that Mr. Perry is sharing a perspective of parenting based on what he lacked as a child. Alot of people do this, e.g. I’m going to give my children everything they want because I was poor, I’m going to let my children wear designer clothes because I had to wear hand me downs, etc. Mr. Perry just chose a public forum to share his perspective and its food for thought on what it may feel like as an adult to not be loved by your parents. Why does everyone hate on this man so much? He has done so much to be personally proud of with his professional accomplishments and he’s entertained those who like his work. He’s created jobs and opportunities. Leave him alone. Who cares what we think his sexual preference is? If you were out of work and desperately needed an income and he offered you a job, would you care about any of this? Would you turn down the job because of who you perceive him to be not knowing if it’s true or not. Really, let’s stop this hate and criticism of one another. Times are too hard to trash one another when we are all trying to make it and be the best we can be for ourselves and our families.

Daphane

August 16th, 2011
10:46 am

Enter your comments here

AFan1

August 16th, 2011
10:49 am

Thank You Tyler for your heartfelt words of wisdom. Some of us “Get IT”

AdviceIgive

August 16th, 2011
11:00 am

YOUR priorities of TODAY decide the successes and failures of TOMORROW!

mark.l

August 16th, 2011
11:05 am

Does Tyler Perry have any kids? if not why is he giving parental advise.

Loving This Opp!

August 16th, 2011
11:14 am

Because he can, mark.I! In case you haven’t noticed, not once did he say he’s speaking as an authority on parenting. He’s giving his perspective of the young americans are presently prancing around our streets.

Regina

August 16th, 2011
11:19 am

That’s great advice Tyler! Its amazing how few parents really consider the enormity of the task they have in reasing a future adult. I see the potential in every child. Bravo to Tyler for spreading this thoughtful message.

nypeach

August 16th, 2011
11:20 am

Can it hurt to have one more person speak up for children? TP isn’t using his wealth and fame to sell crack or put women on the pole–he is using them to advocate for children. So please consider that before you post a negative comment. What he says is useful. How useful are your comments?

kew

August 16th, 2011
11:25 am

Carla, have you ever heard of a word called “example”? I was using an example…meaning I never experienced slavery but my parents and grandparent taught me about slavery. So the point is that I don’t have to be in slavery to know about slavery and can tell someone else about slavery (my kids) – WHICH goes back to me making a point about Tyler knowing something about parenting without being a parent. Read my next comment and you may have gotten it.

kew

August 16th, 2011
11:26 am

By the wat Carla – I am black as they come.

Richard

August 16th, 2011
11:27 am

Tyler Perry’s words ring true whether he’s a parent or not. His experiences with his father is not what he would like to remember; that’s why seeing another father hold his child’s hand crossing the street fills him with some emotion. He missed that in his life. You don’t have to be a father to understand…..you have to be a son looking up to a father to know what was missing. Life experiences are great teachers. Pass them on so others won’t have to experience them, too.

L. Hill

August 16th, 2011
11:40 am

Whether you like him or not, Tyler Perry has a huge following, especially in the Black community and with our young people. Because of this, I hope that Mr. Perry will one day address the issue of the masses of black children being born out of wedlock with no clue as to who their fathers are. This to me is an abuse of freedom. Too many black girls and black women are choosing to become pregnant without the benefit of marriage, and then spending the next 20 yrs. of their lives, berating the fathers. Stop the madness! Every child deserves the benefit of two loving, committed parents.

EJ

August 16th, 2011
11:42 am

Mark, I agree with you……..to give parental advice, I think you have to be a parent. Mr. P can give advice to children so that they can move on with their lives ,if their life was like his. Whatever our lives were in the past, we learn through prayer to move on….this may require some counseling. What is necessary requires millions of people to try to renew their minds spiritually for themselves and for the people who caused the abuse……healing is a spiritual process….trust me, some people look for excuses for their behavior…it is a one on one relationship with God through his son Jesus…..so many ministers have problems that are similar…….before heading a church, since he/she is representing Jesus,he/she should spend the necessary time it takes to prepare for leading the flock of the Church…there may not be so many churches….only the strong should lead!!!!!got off of the subject , but you get my drift!!!!!!!