The 20 Questions You Should Ask Your Grandparents

Grandfather & granddaughter holiday time

‘It makes for tears of laughter and grief, a sense of connectedness’

Once our older relatives are gone, so is our history. That’s why you should always ask them about their lives. People enjoy talking about their lives and sharing it with loved ones.

You can learn a lot about your family and yourself by talking to your grandparents. They have seen a lot of things you never will and experienced things most of us can’t imagine.

20 Questions to Ask Your Grandparents

Most grandparents are more than happy to share information and stories about their lives and they will be very happy that you are interested in them, as well. Here are a few to get you started.

Where were you born?

This can be very interesting for you to know and learn about. If you have grandparents that have an accent, then you want to ask about that.

Did you get an allowance?

Not every kid gets an allowance. Very often, with an older generation, they would have to have worked around the home or farm doing chores in order to get paid.

Did you ever get in trouble as a child or teenager?

What you may be getting into trouble about is likely a far cry from what your grandparents did. This might make for an interesting story or two, and maybe you aren’t so different after all.

What is the most important lesson that your parents taught you?

This is a good question to ask your older relatives. Life lessons often don’t vary much, even though the times do. Goodness, decency, and kindness are always in fashion.

What did your friends do for fun when you were young?

This could be going to a movie, riding horses, making crafts, or swimming in a lake. Your grandparents didn’t have the same technology that is available today, so they would have had to make their own fun.

How did you meet Grandma/Grandpa?

This is always a great question. People love to talk about how they met and it didn’t happen online. Chances are, a chat room to your grandparents was a cafe or school cafeteria.

Did you take a honeymoon?

Not everyone gets to take a honeymoon. Depending on where they are from, where they met and their situation, they may have had a weekend away nearby because there was work to be done.

Where was your wedding?

This might surprise you. Oftentimes, people got married at home, in a community hall, or even outside. Not everyone has a big church wedding, sometimes it was easier to just elope and start their lives together right away.

Did you go to college?

Going to college wasn’t always an option for everyone. Sometimes, people went to college to find a mate, learn a few skills to take over the family business, and some of them never even got to finish high school.

What was your first job?

Many times, our older loved ones had jobs at a very young age. They were often expected to help out with a family business or work on the farm. Some kids had a paper route, mowed lawns, or babysat.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

It might be interesting to see if your grandparents got to realize their dreams. Often, they don’t. Families depend on children to get to work right away and help them out.

Where have you lived?

This could open up a few doors for you to go back and see where your family came from.

Where have you traveled?

Finding out where they have been might make a great travel wish list for you.

What were your parents/ grandparents like?

Well, back when I was your age… get the skinny on how life was like for them

Tell me about the day when my mom/dad was born?

Was your dad born in a nice hospital bed or at home on the farm? Different eras have varying results.

Will you teach me how to make your …

Passing down a family favorite recipe is a great way to keep traditions alive. Ask your grandparent to show you how to make their signature dish.

Did you have any pets?

Not everyone allowed animals in the home. Dogs and cats were often brought in to ‘work’

Did our ancestors speak any language that is different from ours?

Even if you don’t know, ask. If there is a slight accent your grandparents use, find out what languages they speak or understand.

What was your favorite music?

Chances are, the answer will be, not that racket you listen to!

Do you have any pictures we can look at?

Breaking out the photo albums is the best way to engage, and you will certainly have plenty of more questions.