Candid Quotes About Fatherhood From Tyler Perry

The movie mogul and his partner, Gelila Bekele, have a son named Aman.
Tyler Perry shares the lessons he's learned from his son, Aman.
Tyler Perry shares the lessons he's learned from his son, Aman.

Tyler Perry is very candid about the emotions of fatherhood.

The movie mogul and his partner, Gelila Bekele, welcomed a son, Aman Tyler Perry, in 2014. Since then, he’s opened up about the day-to-day experience and powerful emotions of raising a child.

In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 11 quotes about parenthood from Perry.

On The Emotions Of Fatherhood

“Every cliche is true. When I look at him, I see my young self. When I’m hugging him, I’m able to hug the little boy that I was, if that makes sense. So there’s so much healing going on.”

On Childlike Curiosity

“I love once he goes to sleep because he’s just at that age where he’s very curious about everything. This is the thing he does: ‘Can a cheetah beat a rancher? Can a cheetah beat a car? Can a cheetah beat a bird? Can a cheetah beat a leaf falling?’ By the time we go through all of ‘can a cheetah beat?’ I’m beat. But, no, it’s just joy. Just watching him learn and discover and, yeah, it’s wonderful.”

On Parenting With His Partner

“She’s from Ethiopia, and she don’t play, man. I have to force her to fly first class. She’s coach. She’s on the bus. He’s going to have really, really good balance because she’s very earth ― very, very earth ― and, you know, and I’m a little different. So he’s got good balance.”

On His Dream For His Son

“[My dream] for him is to be the best that he can be. All that he wants to be, no matter what that is. In my mind what I would love to say is, ‘Here are the keys to the studio. I’ll be somewhere smoking a joint on an island; you go do this. I’m 80 years old now; go do your thing.’ But, if that’s not his dream, I just want whatever it is that he does to be special and amazing.”

On Parenting After Experiencing Childhood Abuse

“When I think about my father, I’m trying to look at it now through the lens of this beautiful person that I’m raising, but it makes it harder because I wonder how could you be so cruel to something so pure, right? And [Aman] looks just like me, so I’m looking at myself in younger pictures.”

On Perspective

“Just because he was born into privilege doesn’t mean he won’t have to work. He was born broke; he’s got to go to work. He’s got to find his own way. I’ll be there to help guide him, but he’s not going to have everything handed to him.”

On The Magic Of Parenting

“Just having an opportunity to mold a great human being is a wonderful thing. To help nurture and cultivate his life, in whatever wonderful thing he is going to be, is really awesome.”

On Bedtime Stories

“I don’t do characters with the books, but he’s into ‘Paw Patrol’ right now, so every night he gets three books [because] I tell him, ‘I’m only reading three tonight.’ And what he’ll do is bring 10, but we only get three, so we’ll read the three, and then I say, ‘OK, you have to go to bed now.’ And he’ll say, ‘Read them again. You said three, so just keep reading these three.’ Pretty smart already!”

On How His Son Changed Him

“He really has changed my life. He’s so beautiful and strong and amazing. And he’s a ... healer for me, ’cause I look at him and see myself as a little boy. And I’m able to give him all the love and all the things that I never had. It’s really amazing. It’s amazing.”

On Disciplining His Son

“I was in the other room writing, and he had just given the nanny fits. He didn’t know I was there listening to him. He’s just going at her. … I get down to this level, eye to eye. We’re talking; we’re having a conversation. I’m saying how disappointed I was, how he shouldn’t behave that way. And I watched this child, who’s very smart, get it and apologize — apologize to the nanny, apologize to Mom, apologize to me. I watched this child get it, and I had to rush out of the room because I lost it. Gelila comes, and she’s, [like], ‘Are you OK?’ I’m in tears because nobody had ever spoken to me that way as a child. Nobody had ever spoken to me as a person.”

On Special Moments

“We were on the beach over the holidays, and we’re walking up the beach. … Behind me, he’s jumping up and down. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m walking in your footsteps, Papa.’”