Capturing a Father’s Legacy - Interesting, Meaningful, and Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Your Dad Today
“Hey dad, what’s your greatest accomplishment in life?” - says the most basic interviewer of all time. Although it may seem like your dad only truly cares about his favorite recliner chair and yelling at the TV during Sunday football, it’s simply not true. Many fathers are complex, interesting, and deeply caring people who have a history of looking out for others, doing whatever it takes, and elaborate emotions that deserve better questions than “what’s your greatest accomplishment?” When you get a chance to talk to your dad about his legacy, let’s make sure you are equipped with meaningful questions and follow-ups to dig deep into his life history. If you ask the right questions, it can make for a truly meaningful keepsake documentary video for the entire family to cherish.
Although providing financially for your family is important to a father’s legacy, their lasting impact can extend far beyond that. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71.2% of mothers were participants in our labor force in 2021. Compare that to about 20% of mothers back in 1950 and you can see that the mother’s role in providing for the family has drastically changed. I mention that to prove a point that the father’s role in leaving a legacy for his family has been constantly changing over the years from heavily financial to other more nuanced legacies. Two lasting legacies, other than financial support, that a father can leave behind are their physical presence and emotional engagement. When there are more than 19.7 million fatherless homes in the United States, the benefits of presence and quality time should never be taken for granted.
Alongside the benefits of presence and engagement comes other meaningful legacies a father can leave. One great example is their wisdom, knowledge, and know-how to do just about anything on this planet and navigate any difficult situation. Another legacy for religious families can be devotion to faith and adhering to the values of your faith such as treating your wife the way God wants you to so you can set a good example.
Therefore, to prepare you to discuss legacy with your father, I’ve compiled a list of interesting, meaningful, and thought provoking questions you can ask him. Keep in mind, these topics could make for a phenomenal keepsake legacy video for your dad that the whole family will cherish for generations to come.
- Quality time & presence
- Fathers can be very intentional about carving out time to spend with their family. Ask your father about the ways he carved out time (big and small) to spend quality time with you. Ask him how that changed throughout your life.
- Studies show significant benefits for children with involved, loving fathers such as doing better in school, high self esteem, and exhibiting empathy. Ask your father about yourself - what are some of your favorite qualities about me? That answer can lead to a loving, heartfelt discussion about the lasting impact he has had on your life and generations to come.
- Difficult conversations
- A father’s role in difficult conversations is crucial. Whether it’s about chivalry, the birds and the bees, or accountability - a few carefully chosen words can set an example that lasts for years after. Ask your dad about the most difficult conversation he’s had to have with you. Did he feel like he did a good job? The discussion that follows can help provide clarity and demonstrate his intention.
- Providing for family
- Although the mother’s role is constantly growing in this category, the father still has a role to play himself. Many times a father has to make sacrifices in order to provide for his family - ask him about them. What was something you felt you had to give up in order to provide for us? How do you feel about it? This one can get deep, so be prepared to listen. This makes for some high quality content to capture in a keepsake personal documentary video.
- Wisdom and know-how
- Dads know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two. Ask your father about what he thinks he’s the best at. Are you an expert in anything dad? Can you explain it to me? What are you passionate about and interested in, but aren’t an expert yet? Do you want to be an expert in that space?
Those are phenomenal places to get started. If you’re looking for more inspiration beyond those topics; I’ve gathered some additional resources to help inspire an interview with your dad! Don’t forget, that interview could turn into a heartfelt, keepsake documentary video. Get started here.
- Greater Good Science Center (Berkely): 20 Questions to Ask Your Father
- My favorite: “If you could know anything about our family history or about a relative who has passed away, what would you want to know?”
- Verywell Family: Questions to Ask Your Father to Get to Know Him on a Deeper Level
- My favorite: “Is there anything that you wish you had asked your parents but didn't?”
- Fatherly: 12 Important Questions To Ask Your Dad Before He’s Gone
- My favorite: “How would your father describe you?”
- Honorable mention: “What world event had the most impact on you?”
Now that you know what to ask him, don’t forget to buy your father a keepsake, legacy documentary video from Kindred today!