Dads — they’ve been there through it all. They were there to change your diaper, coach your little league team, watch you get married and everything in between. Dads are the ultimate hero and the original Superman. However, sometimes it feels like a challenge to connect with them on a deeper level. Believe it or not, they have a story of their own apart from being your dad — and chances are they would love to tell you about it. Here are some questions to spark conversation with your dad and uncover what made him into the father he is today.

What Is a Favorite Memory of Your Dad?

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Nothing shapes a dad more than his own father. Chances are, a big chunk of how he raised you was influenced by how he was raised. The memories he has with his own father are priceless, and can only be passed down by telling them to others. So, listen up! These stories are worth remembering, and your dad would probably love to share them.

What Is the Best Advice Your Dad Ever Gave You?

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Maybe it was advice on how to get the girl or maybe it was on how to grill the perfect burger. Whatever it was, it’s stuck with your dad and played a vital role in shaping him into the man he is today. The best advice his dad ever gave him could end up being the best advice your dad ever gives you.

Who Was Your Childhood Hero?

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Your dad — all big and tall and strong and grown — used to look up to someone, probably both figuratively and literally. He admired someone in the same way that you probably admire someone today. That person was your dad’s idol, his icon and his inspiration. It’s definitely worth asking about the person that your father aspired to be when he grew up.

What Were You Like as a Teenager?

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It’s almost impossible to imagine, but your dad was a teenager at one point too. So, what kind of teenager was he, exactly? The possibilities are endless. Was he a straight-laced, straight-A student? Was he the classic story of teenage-angst? Did he stay out way too late and get into way too much trouble? The answer might surprise you, and make for a hilarious (and hopefully not awkwardly uncomfortable) story.

Who Was Your Favorite Singer in High School?

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Imagine your dad cranking up the music in his room and your grandparents screaming at him to turn down that nonsense. Imagine him flying down backroads blaring his favorite tape through his car radio. These things probably happened during his childhood, and chances are history repeated itself with you. Ask about his favorite singer and you may have found the coolest vintage music — or just an awesome excuse to make fun of him.

What’s the First Album or CD You Ever Bought?

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This can tell you a lot about the kind of childhood your dad had. Hardcore rock and roll album? Your dad probably wore a lot of leather and smoked a lot of cigarettes. Album full of emotional ballads and love songs? Your dad probably wrote a lot of poetry and went over the top to romance your mother. Your dad might put on a tough act for you now, but music doesn’t lie.

Where Did You and Mom Go on Your First Date?

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Now you see them as your mom and dad, but at one point your parents were two, young love-birds going out for dinner and a movie, probably writing each other cheesy love notes. Their story is the beginning of your story, so it’s worth hearing about! Plus, you might even get some dating-advice, because whatever your dad did to impress your mom obviously worked.

Were You in the Delivery Room When I Was Born?

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The day you made your grand entrance into the world. . . where was Dad? Was he tearing up watching the miracle of birth? Or was he in the waiting room trying not to vomit? Or maybe he was just stuck in traffic. (Believe it or not, there was a time when dads weren’t welcomed in the delivery room.) Your day of birth is a pretty huge day for both of you, so imagine hearing it from his perspective.

What Was a Favorite Family Tradition When You Were Growing Up?

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Ever wonder why every Christmas you have the most absurd tradition that nobody else you know does? It’s probably because your father had the same tradition when he was growing up. Traditions are cool because they are passed down and get to influence you the same way they influenced generations before you. Or maybe your dad’s favorite tradition is one that died along the way before it got to you. Either way, it was an important part of his childhood and certainly an important part of who he is today.

Here’s wishing you and your dad an enlightening and enjoyable Father’s Day!

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