Inevitably, our relationships with our parents change as we get older. From birth to age 20-something, in most cases (certainly, there are exceptions), it’s been all about us, our needs, our problems and our desires. Then, as we mature, we have the opportunity to flip the script and get to know our parents as well-rounded individuals, beyond their identity as a mom or dad.
We’ve written previously about the questions you never thought to ask your mom but should. Now we’ve come up with a bunch of conversation-starting interview questions to ask your dad, too, that touch on his past, present and future.
If your father is still in your life, consider broaching one of the topics below during your next phone call or weekend at home to gain some insight into the person he is:
1. As a kid, what did you think you wanted to do for a living?
2. In hindsight, is there a time you didn’t stand up for someone or something (a person, a cause) but wish you did? Why didn’t you at the time?
3. How has your idea of what it means to be a man changed over the span of your life?
4. What’s one thing your mom or dad always used to tell you growing up that turned out to be true?
5. What were some of your biggest insecurities when you were in high school?
6. Are you where you thought you’d be at this point in your life?
7. What was the first time you remember really getting your feelings hurt? By whom and what happened?
8. Who was the first person you said “I love you” to in a romantic context? Did he or she say it back?
9. (If your parents got married): What was the moment you realized you wanted to marry Mom or Dad?
10. If you could have dinner with three famous people, living or dead, who would they be?
11. What did a typical Friday night look like for you at age 17?
12. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got the chance?
13. When do you feel the happiest?
14. What’s one underrated but important skill a person should possess?
15. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
16. What has been your favorite age so far and why?
17. How do you want to be remembered?