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If experience is the best teacher, our grandparents are undoubtedly the smartest people around; what’s more valuable than picking the brain of those geniuses.
Unfortunately, discussing with your grandparents can be a daunting task as many age-induced illnesses can impact their memory or speech skills.
This shouldn’t keep you from learning as much as possible from them and quickly. You can only learn from your grandparents when they’re around, and the chances are high that they don’t have much time anymore.
Here are 12 questions to ask grandparents to tap from the wisdom and experiences they’ve accumulated over the scores of years they’ve lived on earth.
Questions to ask grandparents
1- What was your best travel destination?
This question can help reveal what your grandparents think of places around the world. In addition, you can also get some exciting travel ideas to add to your bucket list.
Asking them why the place makes their favorite travel destination can also help you learn hidden stories about many places.
If your grandparents can’t decide on a specific travel destination, that’s a win-win for you. Not only will you learn about multiple travel destinations, but be prepared to hear interesting travel stories straight from your old guys.
2- What was your favorite job?
Anyone, as experienced as a seventy-year-old, will have lots of experience working. Most grandparents have a favorite job that they would do forever if they had the chance.
When you learn about your grandparents’ favorite job, be sure to ask why they chose the job. It could be flexible working hours, an impressive paycheck, or amazing colleagues.
This discussion also opens the door to many questions about their career. Asking how many jobs they’ve worked at and the different experiences they’ve had at those jobs.
If you’re still undecided on your career path, choosing the same career as your grandparents won’t be bad at all. Hopefully, someday, you’ll be a grandparent, and someone will be asking you the same thing.
3- What was your future ambition when you were a kid?
Everyone had some ambitions when they were kids; some silly, some serious, and some end up coming true.
People often change their ambitions as time passes by, so this conversation can drag on for longer than you expect.
Learning about what your grandparents hoped to achieve when they were kids can help you determine how much alike you are.
For every change in their career ambitions, you can ask why they decided to change and how they eventually ended up with their chosen career.
4- Who was your best friend during your childhood days?
Most people have that friend that they liked most. It changes over time, and you’re likely to get your other grandparent as an answer.
However, their best childhood friend is another question entirely and can reveal so much about their childhood days.
If you’re well acquainted with your grandparents, you may have seen their best friends once or twice. Also, you may never have seen them.
Asking why they chose that specific person to be their best friend is another question that might spark a discussion.
Not everyone knows why they made someone their childhood friend, but everyone can remember a fascinating memory with their friend.
5- Can you draw me a family tree?
You should only ask this question sparingly if your grandparents meet specific requirements.
Firstly, you must have seen them writing something lately, and they must also not be suffering from any severe age-induced illnesses.
If you have grandparents with a flair for writing, you should give this question a shot. A family tree helps you learn a lot more about your family, and there is no better person to draw it than the oldest guys in the family.
Also, you can learn about family members that you’re not acquainted with, giving you bonding ideas.
6- What’s the earliest memory you can still remember?
There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing your grandparents narrate an experience they had when they were three or four.
While your grandparents mightn’t have a vivid recollection of their childhood days, it’s still an excellent way to learn about how they grew and their life growing up.
Some emotional stories may come up in here, as it’s very likely that their parents are dead. And, no experience sticks around more than the death of one’s parents.
Hold on to these memories; maybe that will be your earliest memory when your great-grandchild asks you the same question in a hundred years.
7- What’s the most challenging obstacle you ever faced?
Everyone has faced some challenges at specific moments of their lives. Life is not a bed of roses, but your grandparents have been able to scale through all the obstacles.
Learning about their most challenging obstacles and how they scaled through them prepares you for similar experiences and hints on how to solve them.
It may be passing an examination, getting a job, or even finding your other grandparent. Whatever it is, you can always learn from it.
8- What memory brings you the most joy?
Everyone likes to talk about favorable experiences. This question is one to ask if the discussion starts to get tense and uncomfortable.
Everyone’s ‘most joyful’ memory differs. For some, it’s getting the first house or car. This question may trigger your grandparents’ wedding memories or even your birthday.
While it may be tasking to choose what memory brings the most joy, given that joy is usually immeasurable, that happens to be the goal of the question.
You don’t want to hear about what made them the happiest. You only want to know what kinds of events your grandparents like and make them feel better by recalling those events.
9- Can you tell me about your parents?
While you may never have seen your great-grandparents, there is no doubt that your grandparents have, or at least knows a lot about them.
Learning about your great-grandparents can be fun, as you can learn some interesting similarities between them and current members of the family.
Ask about their names, their jobs, and their hobbies. Kids love talking about their parents. No matter how old your grandparents may be or look, they are mere kids to your great-grandparents.
If you think it’s a good idea, you can have your grandparents draw a family tree starting from your great-grandparents.
However, you should note that you have four great grandpas and four great-grandmas, making eight great grandparents in total. So, you may want to get a jotter and a pen ready for this discussion.
10- What’s your favorite joke?
This is another question that lightens a tense situation. If you think everything is getting too weighty, you can ask for a joke.
While most funny content we consume today is videos (that are hard to narrate, anyway), it was different back in the day. Many people appreciate stand-up comedy as it’s mostly the only form of comedy available.
However, you should be ready to laugh after asking this question. Your grandparents have lived scores of years on earth, and they’ve heard dozens of jokes; the favorite one will always be good.
11- Do you get into trouble as a child?
Things haven’t changed much since homo sapiens started wearing clothes. Your grandparents might have been just as troublesome as you are, just getting better as they age.
Asking if your grandparents get into trouble as a kid will surely bring a smile to their face and may dig up some funny stories you surely didn’t anticipate.
The activities that get them into trouble could show you how much alike you are and how things have changed since their days.
12- What do you think will surprise me about you?
This is your chance to learn something new about your grandparents. There are lots of things you don’t know about them, and lots more that you’ll never know.
However, this question doesn’t ask for everything. You’re only willing to know something surprising.
While there is a chance that your parents have told you about this surprising fact, you can ask for another. Seniors can have plenty of secrets, you know?
While interviewing any family member can be fun, interviewing older family members is always insightful.
A good idea of someone you should try interviewing as soon as possible is any of your grandparents. They’re old, kind, knowledgeable and full of wisdom.
However, coming up with questions to ask your grandparents can be somewhat daunting. You don’t know the perfect questions to extract as much information as possible while keeping the discussion lively.
Fortunately, you don’t have to. With the questions compiled in this article, you’ll never need to be expert questioners to strike a delightful conversation with your grandparents.
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