With Father’s Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to sit down with your dad and ask him about his life. All too often we take our dads for granted, but once they’re gone, it becomes clear just how important they were in our lives. In order to appreciate your father on Father’s Day and beyond, ask him these 12 meaningful questions about his life and you will likely be inspired by his answers.
Question 1: What are your hobbies and how did you get into them?
You and your dad might be different in some ways, but you’re also a lot alike. Consider asking him about his hobbies, so you can learn about what he values in life, how he wants to spend his time and how you can share those interests together. If he’s always wanted to learn how to play guitar, perhaps you could teach him!
Question 2: What do you believe in?
Some of us get by just fine without any religious affiliations, but if you were raised with a certain belief system, it’s important to know why and has that changed for your dad over the years. Ask your dad what he believes in. Don’t get defensive if they disagree with you; instead, use it as an opportunity for open discussion about your values and how you came about them.
Question 3: What advice would you give your 30-year-old self?
What advice would you give your 30-year-old self? Would it be a similar answer as that which you have for yourself today? If not, what would be different and why? What do you wish someone had told you 30 years ago that could have made your life easier or more fulfilling? How has growing older changed who you are and how you look at life?
Question 4: Who are some of your heroes and why?
We learn more from those who have achieved what we seek, but it’s important to know why they resonate with us. For example, if a family member inspires us and we find out they started with nothing but had a strong work ethic, that might be all it takes for us to start pursuing our dreams as well. But if they didn’t work hard, then what? How much did they luck into their success? You can never know unless you ask.
Question 5: Which movies have influenced you the most?
If you’re going for pure nostalgia, ask him about films from his youth. If he’s older, he might have fond memories of films like Singin’ in the Rain, which was released when he was seven years old. But don’t rule out more recent films—as long as your dad has a few favorite actors or actresses (e.g., Tom Hanks), you can find common ground in anything.
Question 6: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
For your dad, where would it be? Tell him why. If you haven’t been somewhere, try to picture it with your dad in that place; how do you think he’d fit into it? Where would he go every day? Would there be a beach nearby? A park or forest trail? A coffee shop or bookstore where he’d hang out with friends and colleagues?
Question 7: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I think you can learn a lot about who your dad is as a person by asking him who his favorite teacher was and why. This is an extremely easy question to ask, but it can tell you a lot about how your dad viewed his experiences in school. For instance, did he choose a favorite teacher that taught him something practical and valuable, or did he choose someone just because they were especially inspirational?
Question 8: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at age 10?
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at age 10? I would tell myself to be more outgoing. I was a little bit of a loner when I was a kid, so looking back, it's something that I wish I had done differently. It's hard because you don't think about your actions when you're younger. When looking at yourself now do you think I wouldn't change anything? Or is there something that you would do different if given a second chance?
Question 9: Why did you have children?
What is your primary motivation for having children? Did you plan on having them, or was it something that just happened? How has parenthood changed your life? Are you glad you had children, and would you do it again if given a chance to go back in time? Is there anything you wish you’d done differently? Or did being a parent help make some things easier or more clear to you than they might have been otherwise? There are many reasons parents have children.
Question 10: What are you most proud of in your life?
Now is a great time to get your dad talking. A good place to start might be his greatest accomplishment in life, something he’s most proud of. And don’t limit yourself just to what he does for a living: What about his hobbies? How did he handle any major challenges along the way? Has he always been close with his family? If so, how has that affected him as an adult? Has he ever had an experience that changed him dramatically? If so, how did it affect him and how has it shaped who he is today?
Question 11: What is something you would like to do before you die?
Asking your dad about his life goals will help you learn something about him that you might not have known before. It’s also a good way to get to know your parent on a deeper level and make him feel more connected to you. When he shares his dream with you, respect it and don’t belittle it, even if you don’t understand why he wants what he wants—you can always ask questions.
Question 12: If you had an unlimited supply of energy, what would you do with it?
An old, but excellent question. It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities that we forget about taking time for ourselves. And some days, it seems like we don’t have enough energy to get through those responsibilities or have time for anything else. If you had an unlimited supply of energy, what would you do with it?
An innovative way of asking your father questions and also being able to store it is to use Storii. You only need a phone number to start using it and to get up to 3 automated calls a week asking your loved one Life Story questions. With Storii you are able to schedule automatic phone calls or call in at any time to populate your life story! The recordings are transcribed and saved into your profile automatically. Find out more!