picnic with grandma

Writing Grandma’s Life Story: 10 Questions to Ask Her in an Interview

Now that you’ve interviewed Grandpa, it’s time to talk to Grandma. Like Grandpa, she probably has plenty of unique stories and experiences from her past, but she may also enjoy some time just to talk about her children and grandchildren, so try to ask a variety of questions. Here are ten to get you started.

10 Questions to Ask Your Grandma in an Interview

  1. What are some of your best and worst childhood memories?
  2. How did you celebrate birthdays in your family as a child? What is your best birthday memory?
  3. What are the top qualities you seek in a friend? What do you appreciate most in your best friend? If you could change anything about the friendships you have had, what would it be?
  4. How did you meet Grandpa? What is the best dating advice you could give someone?
  5. What do you love best or appreciate most about each of your children? What values have you tried to nurture in your children?
  6. How is being a grandparent different than being a parent? What do you like or dislike about each?
  7. How has society changed since you were a child?
  8. What is a difficult situation that you look back on now and see as a blessing?
  9. What have been some spiritual turning points in your life? What has been the most spiritually profound moment in your life?
  10. What is the number one piece of advice you would give to your twenty-year-old self?

The word “interview” can be intimidating to many people, so try calling it what it is—a conversation. Remember to relax. Even if you’re a little nervous, your grandma is probably far more nervous. Focus on making her as comfortable as possible.

Start by making her laugh or better yet by allowing her to make you laugh. Have your conversation in a location she is comfortable with, like her kitchen table or the couch in her living room. Set a glass of water near your seat and take a sip occasionally—this will remind her that it’s okay to pause and take a drink also. Once she’s comfortable and talking easily, chances are you’ll be more comfortable too

Once you finish interviewing your grandparents, think about which other family members you want to talk to next . . . whether uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings, or children. Every family has a wealth of stories to share, so don’t stop looking for them—we promise the end result will be worth it!

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