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For some, connecting with their father comes easy, for others not so much. While there are a myriad of reasons why people may find it hard to connect with their father, unless you have completely written your father off for a reason, you may end up with major regrets later on, if you never do.

It can be difficult not to let pride lead the way. It can be difficult to think, “What’s the point?” However, at the end of the day, those “What the point?” statements can turn to, “If only I had…,” real fast. The thing is, oftentimes, a single conversation can completely turn the tables. Clear communication can open the gateways to getting to know your father all over again. One way to understand your father more is to ask him the following questions. Not only that- but you might learn a bit about him and even maybe yourself in the meantime.

1. What is one story I’ve never heard about you?

No matter how you may perceive him, your dad is just a human. Much like any of us, there is likely a story or two he has kept to himself. However, through sharing a few outlandish tales, you might find you have more in common than you realized.

2. Why did you choose your career?

Understanding why your dad chose his career can tell you a lot about him. Did he choose his passion, or did he opt for the practical route? Did he ever second-guess his choice? By asking these questions, you might also get a bit of insight into your own career choices.

3. What is the most difficult situation you’ve ever been through?

Oftentimes, as we grow up, our parents don’t always share their struggles. It’s very likely that you may not have even realized what was going on behind the scenes in your father’s mind that caused him to struggle.

4. What’s the biggest and most important piece of advice you could give?

Whether we want to see it or not, our parents can usually give us a bit of perspective because they have lived longer. Even if you struggle to ask for advice, and even if you don’t always see eye to eye with your father, this question can be a very good one to ask.

5. What’s your biggest regret in life?

We all live with regret. Even if our bad choices pushed us onto a better path, it’s likely there is something we would all avoid if given the chance. With that said, we can most certainly learn from the regrets of others, more specifically, our fathers.

6. What do you enjoy most about being a dad?

The answer to this question will likely surprise you. What’s even better, is that you will get to see your father in a light you didn’t see him in before, as he reminisces on the past.

7. What mistake taught you the most?

Oftentimes in life, we think our mistakes make us weak. On the contrary, our mistakes are what shape us into the people we become later in life. Ask your father which of his mistakes taught him the most.

8. What is the biggest lesson you ever learned in life?

The biggest turning points in our lives are the ones that often teach us the most and the ones that define us. While you can see who your father has become, asking this question will give you insight into why and how.

9. Who was the most influential person in your life?

Whether you think you know the answer or not, ask this. The reason is, the potential answers are endless. He could choose a public figure, a friend, a relative, or even a musician. Just be sure to ask WHY.

10. What are you most proud of?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask because it will help you to understand what drives your father. While you might think it’s one thing, it could be something else entirely. It could be as simple as family, but he also might surprise you and share something with you he’s never shared with anyone before.