Nothing is more important to Anthony Anderson than family.
That’s why family was the focus of the “black-ish” actor’s interview with Kindred by Parents.com on Thursday. Anderson is well-known for playing the patriarch Dre on the popular sitcom which he reveals is actually partially based on his life.
“Dre was based on my real life as well as Kenya [Barris]’s, so what you saw on that screen for the past eight years were the things that we were dealing with in our families, as husbands as fathers, as sons as brothers,” he shared. “Those were stories that are picked from our lives that we decided to share with the world.”
As a father to a 26-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old son, he’s had to learn the hard way about how to deal with his kids questioning his decisions.
“I sit and debate with them now, and I’m like, ‘Damn, why did I raise you like this?'” he joked. “‘Why can’t you just take what I say and just do it?'”
Anderson joked about his children being disobedient, but stressed that it was so important that they were given the opportunities to ask “why” questions in their Black community, where that behaviour is often looked down upon.
“[My parenting] worked. I have some independent-thinking children which I love and respect,” he praised. “But that’s how I raised them. I raised them to be their own individuals and to always speak their mind, to ask questions no matter who it is. There’s a difference between ‘questioning’ and ‘asking questions’. ‘You want to do this and go there? Okay, why?'”
As for advice for other parents who were working on their own curious children, he advised them to “be patient”.
“Be patient,” said Anderson. “It’s just about patience and allowing them to make their mistakes. We can’t stand up for them and try to help navigate them. There’s certain mistakes that they don’t need to make because they’ve already been made by the parent, but each mistake is a learning lesson. We have to allow them to make them and learn from them, and it takes patience and understanding and a discipline to stay hands-off.”
Whether it’s in his television work in “black-ish” or with the organizations he partners up with like “Get Real With Diabetes”, family is at the heart of everything he does.
It’s why the actor is so passionate about diabetes awareness. Diabetes is a disease that has affected multiple generations of his family and one that he struggles with himself.
“I was the first person diagnosed with diabetes in my family. Then, my mom was diagnosed. And then we found out my father had probably been living with diabetes for over 20 years,” he said. “That’s why it’s important for me to really get out and give my testimony and share my story to help educate people—help educate the community about it.”