Karen Belz
Updated Oct 23, 2017 @ 2:57 pm
Credit: Cristian Newman / Unsplash

The world has changed so much since our grandparents were growing up. Obviously, they didn’t have luxuries like iPhones and Roombas. Instead, your grandmother likely lived in a world where women had just gotten the right to vote. There are questions you should ask your grandparents now, because not only would they love to share them, but you’ll end up learning a lot in the process.

While grandparents are incredible, they — like all of us — might not be around forever. So spending some time to get to know them will be worthwhile. You might just learn a lot about your parents and your genetic background, which is intel you may get to pass onto your own grandkids someday.

If you want to schedule a chat with them (as you should be doing anyway) here are a few good questions you might want to consider.

1“What were my parents like as kids?”

While all parents are different, there’s a chance that many of them haven’t divulged their own childhood stories. And while it makes sense to ask your parents about what it was like for them growing up, your grandparents will be the source for all the good, uncensored moments. Who knows? Perhaps a particular story or two may help you understand your folks a bit better.

2“What was life like growing up?”

Just as we’ve gone through so much in our lives, your grandparents likely lived in a time of many historic moments. Depending on their age, it’s possible they lived through World War II and Pearl Harbor. While you’ve learned about both in your history books, the best stories are told first-hand.

Of course, you should also ask about how dating and courtship went back then, if they’re open to it. Maybe they have a few romantic letters and keepsakes to share. Because, well, your grandmother didn’t have Tinder.

3“How did you fall in love?”

If your grandparents are still together (or, if one of them found a new love that has been long-term) this is a great question to ask. While dating has changed up a lot in the past few decades, finding a significant other who’s truly compatible is a concept that’s remained the same. Maybe they have a few good tricks or can offer a little insight if you’re currently in the midst of a dating lull. Even if not, it’s a great story to hold onto.

4“What were your parents like?”

There’s a chance that your great-grandparents are still around, but if not, you can find out all about them from your grandparents. In fact, see how far back their knowledge goes. There may just be a few inspirational figures in your family that you might not even know about.

5“What’s the best advice someone’s ever given you?”

This is a great question because the answer could come from anywhere. Even though your grandparents have always made wise choices in your eyes, there’s likely a bunch of stories about their own teenage years that you’ve probably never heard. While we can get advice at any age, there’s a great chance that your grandparents got some key life lessons way back before your parents were even in the picture. It’ll be fun for them to recollect on those moments.

6“How did my parents tell you they were pregnant?”

It wasn’t a Facebook announcement, that’s for sure. Hearing about a pregnancy is often a big moment for parents, so it’s great to hear how your grandparents reacted to the news. That said, keep in mind that the story may not be filled with joy and glitter, based on certain circumstances. Everyone’s story is a little bit different. But if you’ve maintained a close relationship with your grandparents after all these years, surely the end result was a great one.

7“What did you do for fun as a child?”

It’s so neat to hear about how your grandparents spent their free time. What was cool and trendy back then? What activities were popular? You never know when these things can make a comeback. (Also, it may help you think up a few fun gifts for them when the holidays approach.)

Hearing about how they spent their time might even inspire you to take a much-needed technology break. Hey, your grandparents lived without this stuff. You can too.