Great Interview Questions for Grandparents
A Gift That Keeps on Giving
Trying to come up with a thoughtful gift for a grandparent? Have you considered interviewing them?
Interviewing a grandparent is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your loved one. But what comes from the interview is part of someone's legacy. It will become something you and your extended family can treasure for generations to come.
To format a life story you could compile memories into a beautiful life story book or you record an interview and then edit it into a sharable video that can be watched over and over again. There are plenty of meaningful ways to build out someone's life history.
Historically speaking, It has never been easier to connect with friends and family, especially those who live far away. Additionally, technology has never been more accessible or advanced than it is today. Yet, many people still share the common regret of not capturing their grandparent's life stories while they were still alive.
If recording your grandparents' memories or encouraging them to finally write their memoir is important to you, don't delay. Being busy is rarely a realistic excuse. Why? All it takes to get started with a life story interview is pressing 'record' on a Zoom call or taking a minute to sign up for a service like Storii.
Life Story Questions for Grandparents
One key to conducting a successful life story interview is being prepared with questions. Having a super structured conversation isn't necessary. That said, it does help to have an idea of what information you want to capture in advance.
Sharing these questions with your grandparent ahead of time can be a good idea, too. It will give them time to reminisce and consider what they feel is important to convey.
Here are some life story questions and prompts to help you get started.
What is the earliest memory you have?
Tell me about your parents/guardians. What were they like? How was your relationship?
Tell me about your siblings. What are some of your favorite memories of growing up together?
What were your grandparents like? How was your relationship with them?
Who in your family were you closest to and why?
What were you like as a child?
What was your childhood home like?
What did your family do together when you were growing up? Did you have any rituals or traditions?
When did you start to earn money or allowance? What did you spend your money on?
What did you and your friends do for fun when you were growing up?
What kinds of toys did you play with growing up?
What kinds of things make you feel nostalgic for your childhood?
Tell me about your first car.
Tell me about your first job.
What kind of schooling did you have?
What extra-curricular activities were you involved in?
Who did you idolize or look up to growing up?
How did you spend summers growing up? Are there any particular ones that stand out?
How do you think your childhood shaped you as a person?
What major world or cultural events do you remember well from your childhood?
Looking back, how do you remember life in your 20s? What sorts of experiences defined that decade for you?
Looking back, how do you remember life in your 30s? What sorts of experiences defined that decade for you?
Looking back, how do you remember life in your 40s? What sorts of experiences defined that decade for you?
Looking back, how do you remember life in your 50s? What sorts of experiences defined that decade for you?
Tell me about your relationship with (significant other). How did you two meet?
What was your wedding like?
What is one of your favorite stories about something you two did together?
What do you love about (significant other)?
What are/were the challenges of your relationship?
Do you think you've made each other better people? How?
What advice would you give the version of yourself who is just starting out in the relationship?
What would you do differently in your relationship if you were to do it all over again?
Who are your closest friends and how did you meet them?
What are some of your favorite stories of your friendships?
What activities do you participate in together?
What have you learned from your friendships?
What do you think makes a great friend?
Have you lost any great friends you want to talk about?
When you first found out that you were going to be a parent, how did you feel?
What do you remember about each day your children were born?
What was your parenting experience like when your child/children were growing up?
For you, what were the best parts about being a parent?
What were the most challenging part of being a parent?
How did being a parent shape you?
Do you have any major parenting regrets?
What life lessons or values did you feel were really important to pass on to your children?
What was your favorite stage of raising children and why?
What are you most proud of your children for?
Tell me a favorite memory you have with each child.
Where all have you traveled to?
What is the most beautiful place you've ever seen?
Of all the places you've been, which ones are your favorites and why?
Did you ever have any travels that were complete disasters?
What are your favorite things about traveling?
Describe one of the best meals you've had while traveling.
Do you have a favorite souvenir or memento you've picked up on your travels?
Who is your favorite person to travel with?
If you have the choice between mountains, beach, desert, or city - which would you pick?
Did you ever meet any interesting people while traveling?
Tell me about your religious or spiritual practices.
How has your faith or beliefs changed over the course of your life?
If you had to narrow down some of the key beliefs you hold dear from your faith or spiritual practice, what would those be?
What keeps you faithful to your practice?
Describe a time you felt very close to God or some source of higher power.
What is the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
What particular spiritual texts or teachers that have had a profound impact on your life?
How do your beliefs affect your daily life?
How do you think your beliefs have shaped you as a person?
What are your favorite religious or spiritual traditions?
What is the best job you ever had?
What is the worst job you ever had?
What job did you have for the longest?
Was there ever a point you wished that you'd gone into a different line of work?
What about your career are you most proud of?
Was there anyone you worked with who mentored you or was very influential?
What about your job did you find most challenging?
What about your job did you find most rewarding?
Did you find it difficult to have a good work/life balance?
What talents or skills did you develop in your life?
What would you say are your most beloved accomplishments in life?
What hobbies or interests keep you busy?
What would you say are your three best qualities?
What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
Do you have any favorite sayings or expressions?
What it he most brave thing you've ever done?
What are the defining challenges and tragedies of your life? What did those teach you?
How do you hope people will remember you?
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?