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Good Questions to Ask Your Grandparents

Grandaughter gives interview questions for grandparents

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


February 27, 2020

Your grandparents have seen more advances in their lives than any other generation. Here are some good questions to ask your grandparents.


Do you see your grandparents much? Whether you call them up or see them next weekend, think of good questions to ask your grandparents. They are full of experiences and wisdom to share.

Regret is surprisingly predictable.

Short-term, your brain focuses on avoiding “active mistakes,” which can be any number of embarrassing or regretful actions.

But long-term, your brain forgets these small mistakes and instead starts focusing on the deeper picture. As these actions become forgotten, inaction starts to loom larger. You realize the regrets you hold with you are the things you didn’t do.


Things to Ask Your Grandparents

Do you ever have these sentiments? Something as simple, but meaningful as “I need to talk to my grandparents more.”

Well, you still have time. Be grateful for that—start the conversation.

These questions to ask your grandparents will illuminate fascinating stories that will likely enlighten and inspire you. 

Let’s get ready to interview your grandparents!


What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

This question is a great way to start a conversation with your grandparent(s) about the valuable lessons they’ve learned.

Did they make any mistakes, big or small, whose repercussions stood out? What would they have done differently? How did they adapt to challenging situations?

With such a unique and wise perspective on life, this question is a gem to ask. Boiling life situations down to some crucial lessons learned and advice can offer some fantastic insight into their world and perhaps influence yours, too.


What Was Your First Job?

What did your grandparents do for an allowance? Did they work at home or somewhere else? How much did they make for their efforts? 

Perhaps your grandma babysat the neighbor’s kids for a quarter an hour, or maybe she was one of the first flight attendants. Maybe your grandfather worked for the railroad or a manufacturing plant for 30 years.

Not only will it be fascinating to hear about what jobs back in your grandparent’s time entailed, but the differences in the economy will shine through, too. 


How Did You Meet Grandma or Grandpa?

Where did you meet your significant other? What did you think of him or her the first time? Most importantly, what did your parents think?

When comparing dating and marriage now and then, you may be surprised to realize how truly different it was. People were less likely to get divorced; “going steady” was the go-to expression when dating in the 50s; the concept of free love rang loud for quite some time.

What was dating like pre-tech? Did your grandparents participate in traditional courting? Why did they end up choosing each other? What was their wedding day like?

A look into their love lives will likely prove to be romantic, different, and entertaining.


What Historical Events Surprised, Scared, or Excited You?

Of all the questions to ask grandparents about history, this one should reveal some surprising facts.

Say your grandparents, or even great grandparents, lived in the 40s—post-Depression, post-WWI, and coming upon World War II. The economy was booming for a while; returning soldiers went to school through the GI Bill, consumerism began to improve. Life was changing at a rapid pace. 

Were your grandparents involved in WWII or Vietnam? If so, how? What did they think of the landing on the moon? 

Ask them to set the stage for where they were when they found out about world events.


What Is Your Life’s Mantra?

Or, what is your current philosophy on life? What mantras have become a way of living and navigating the world?

This is a popular interview question for grandparents, as they typically deliver wise, thoughtful responses. Their “old-school” philosophies probably have some intriguing stories behind them—your grandparents likely have fantastic responses to these questions. 

Some important mantras you might hear could be:

  • Always laugh and have fun in everything you do
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Think before you talk
  • Don’t be the last one to leave the party — always leave ’em wishing you were there
  • Never do anything that may injure anyone

It could be something deep and personal, or funny and light-hearted. Their mantra could be inspirational in the grand scheme or a small daily affirmation. Whatever they say, write it down and ask yourself why it mattered then and still matters now.


What Are You Proud Of?

Of all the questions to ask your grandparents, asking them to look back on their legacy will be a sentimental moment. What do they want to be remembered by?

Some responses may be straightforward or simple, others, emotional. Your grandparents will probably have some illuminating answers that can reflect on their passions, goals, and achievements. 

Perhaps they’re still hoping to accomplish something or check an activity off their bucket lists. And if so, what do those visions entail?

They may have some unrealized dreams that you uncover. Every story will be unique and special.


Talk to Them Today

Next time you spend time with your grandparents, take this list with you and have a meaningful discussion. Don’t wait until regret sets in to realize you never asked the questions you wanted to ask.

Your grandfather and grandmother have fascinating stories that are unique to their generation and your family history. These are just a few good questions to ask your grandparents. Think of questions that are important to you and your family.

At Commonwise Home Care, we truly care about your relationship with your family members. That’s why we offer quality home health care services for seniors, such as companionship and personal care.

If you feel like caregiving is something you’re naturally inclined to do, we also have rewarding job opportunities. Reach out to see how Commonwise Home Care can improve you and your grandparents’ lives by introducing more conversation and connection: 434.202.8565.