Questions to ask your Dad, this Father's Day!
Father, Dad, Pita, Papa, Abbu - no matter the language, the word always brings with it a sense of solidness. The feeling of safety, of steadfastness, of having a net to fall back on and a hand always reaching out to us in the dark. The promise of a haven, of deep strength, and a promise made and never broken - that’s what the word means to us.
Our fathers- the ones who’ll wear the same clothes and shoes year after year, but buy us the latest in fashion every season. Our fathers- the last ones to complain about the difficulty of life, but the first ones to remove it from ours. Our fathers- the heroes, the bread-winners, the protectors.
Did you ever stop to ask your dad about his life? About how his day went? About the fun he had in college (trust us, he had tons. After all, baap baap hota hai...).
Do you ever stop to just listen to him?
If not, then let’s change it on this Father’s Day. Let's be honest, Dads don’t demand much. They are happy providing for their family and then relaxing on the couch in the evenings watching tennis or cricket. But, their happiness can definitely escalate when their beloved child sits next to them and respectfully listens to what they have to say and share.
To give him the gift of listening, here are some questions to ask, for you to get started! As you guys talk and bond, we’re sure more of these will naturally start popping in your head!
5 light-hearted questions
1. What is your favorite memory of childhood?
Maybe he climbed aam ke ped every time he would visit his Dadi’s house in Punjab and spent the morning reading Champak.
2. Who did you want to be when you were growing up? Why did you change paths? (if he did)
Maybe he wanted to be an astronaut but was then thrown off by how much he’d have to study or because aeronautical studies in the US were too far away and expensive.
3. How was college/school for you? Who was your best friend? Did you go on trips with them? Which was the best one?
You might be surprised to discover that he didn’t study as much as he asks you to but he is just as loyal to his friends as you are and is still in touch with his best friend whom you call him chachu (#goals, no?)
4. What were you like as a teenager? In college?
Maybe he was a shy kid in school and then turned outgoing in college after his singing abilities made him famous with the ladies.
5. How did you meet Mom? Where did you go on your first date?
We’ll leave him to answer this! ;)
5 serious questions
1. What is the biggest learning moment you’ve had in your experiences?
Maybe it was the day he was forced to quit his first job or when he was cheated out of his rightful pay due by an unscrupulous employer. Or maybe, the crazy experience of fatherhood when you were born! You could learn from his experience because no matter how people appear, human behavior evolves over centuries not years.
2. Are we insured as a family? How can I learn about insurance, too?
3. Do you plan to retire one day? What will you do then? Are you stocking up on savings for that?
Chances are, he does plan all this but doesn't say it out aloud. Dad's we tell you! And maybe he wants to retire in style then build a house in the hills. It’s important that you ask him about planning his retirement fund at this point so that in case he hasn’t started saving up keeping in mind the cost of living anf inflation that going to come with time, he can. If he already has, spend a solid hour having financial conversations so that you’ll have an idea of what to do when the time comes for you.
4. Are you happy and content with life?
A simple, gentle inquiry that he can answer in any way he wants. All we want to achieve here is to ease out his underlying worry if any, and tell him that its okay to not feel so strong all the time!
Read more - Last Minute Gifting Ideas This Father's Day!
5. What are your dreams for me?
Beneath the demands of following a traditional career route, lies a parent’s strong desire for their child’s security. They just want you to be happy. If you ask him this question, maybe he’ll finally say it like it is.
Fathers have a different way of connecting to their children than mothers. You might think that your father is less emotive than your mother - especially since the only lengthy conversations he has with you revolve around the merits of getting up early, or not bringing your phone to the dinner table (If your fathers are a lot more expressive, lucky!). But his way of showing love is different- more discreet and indirect.
Think of the way he has secured the family financially and stayed out days and nights for work. Putting in long uncomplaining hours to keep your family financially stable - that’s his way of contributing to the family. And when you acknowledge that by asking him questions about him and his experiences, he feels appreciated and respected. That translates to love for him.
So, this Father’s Day, gift him something that he will never ask you for by himself - give your dad the gift of your attention. Listen to them, ask him questions, get to know his stories, and understand him. Understand the man he is and the father he became for you. We bet you’ll be awed by the man sitting in front of you.