THE DADDY QUESTIONS (SHOULD BE RECORDED IF POSSIBLE)
Note: Ask a question, then give your dad plenty of time to answer. Your silence is your greatest tool in asking these questions. It alerts your dad that you want him to dig deep, and not just give superficial answers.
- Do You Feel Daughters are Different than Sons? (If Yes, What’s Different?)
- Throughout Your Life Have You Found it Easier to Interact with Women or Men? (Why?)
- Do You Have Brothers and/or Sisters?
- Were You Close to Them When You Were Young?
- Are You Close to Them Now? (Why?)
- As a Kid/Child, Were You Closer to Your Mom or Your Dad? (Why?)
- What’s a Memory You Have about Your Parents?
- Why Did You Pick That Story?
- What Were YOU Like as a Kid/Child Growing Up?
- Did That Change as You Hit Your Teens and Twenties?
b. DIVORCED DAD / BREAKUP OF MOM AND DAD RELATIONSHIP
- How did you meet mom?
- Describe the first encounter with her?
- What attracted you to her?
- What do you think she saw in you?
- Was it a long time before you decided you wanted to be a couple?
- How long after that did you give birth to [first born / me]?
- Was I a surprise or planned?
- Honestly, were you hoping for a boy or a girl, or did it matter?
- Were you in the delivery room? (What was that like?)
- Do you remember – what was going on in your life when I was born (career, lifestyle)?
- What was I like as a little child?
- How old was I when mom and you broke up?
- What was the breakup like for you?
- Do you remember what the breakup was like for me, your daughter?
- How did visitation change our relationship (if suddenly you weren’t there every night)?
- Did you decide to stay close or move away? (How did that affect our relationship?)
- Did you [dad] enter into new relationship(s)?
- What do you think that was like for me, your daughter?
- How did your new relationships with women impact your relationship with me, your daughter?
ABOUT ME – YOUR DAUGHTER
- What’s a memory you have of me growing up? (a story)
- Do you remember me as a teenager?
- Did my personality change when I become a teen? (i.e., Did I become wild, hard to control, easy going?)
- If I were a boy, would you have treated me differently growing up? (If yes, how?)
- Do you remember when I stopped being a little girl and started becoming a woman?
- What was that like?
- How did it affect our relationship?
- What do you think I remember most about growing up?
- Do you remember anything about my dating? (If yes, what was that like?)
- How did you feel about who I was spending time with?
- Where those guys similar or different from you [dad]?
- How am I similar or different than my mother?
ABOUT THE TWO OF US
- Is your relationship with me positive or negative now?
- Are you approachable as a dad?
- Have I ever had deep meaningful talks with you? (If yes, about what?)
- Have you ever had deep meaningful talks with me? (If yes, about what?)
- Do we ever chat about personal things going on in our lives?
- Do we ever talk about feelings (anger, fears, joys, sadness, shame)
- When we chat, who usually does most of the talking, or is it both of us?
- What makes a great dad? What makes a bad dad?
- Who is someone you know that’s a great or terrible dad? What makes you think he’s great or terrible?
- On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how would you rate yourself as my dad? (Why?)
- Can you think of some things that shaped my life growing up?
- Were you part of any of them?
- Can you think of a time when I really needed you as a father? (If yes, what happened? Where you there for me?)
- How have you impacted my life? Meaning, because YOU are my dad, what did I get from you? (values, experiences, skills, likes/dislikes)
- What do you think a daughter wants more than anything else, from her dad?
- Did I ever get that from you?
- Do you wish it were different? (If yes, how?)
- How do you think I’d describe YOU to my best friend?
- What’s been easiest or most difficult about your relationship with me?
- What about how I’ve turned out, makes you happiest or saddest? (Why)
- Is there something that frustrates you about your relationship with me?
- Can you think of some mistake you made with me?
- If you could change one thing in your relationship with me, what would it be?
- If that changed, what would happen that is not happening now?
WISHES AND OBSERVATIONS
- Is there something you wish you would have done differently in your life?
- If it were your last day on earth and you could say anything to me — what would you want to tell me?
- What would you want me to tell you?
- Is there something you’d like to apologize to me or thank me for?
- What could you tell me about yourself that I don’t know or understand?
- Do you think there’s something I know about you, my daddy, that no one else knows?
- How have you changed over the years since I was born?
- What has been the most surprising thing about being a dad?
- What is your hope for the future of our relationship?
- There’s a guy whose wife just gave birth to a baby girl. What advice do you have for him about being a dad to a daughter?
- If I had never been part of your life (if I had never been born), what would be different in your life?
- How have I affected you?
- What are your final thoughts about me or about being a dad?