155 Questions To Ask Your Grandparents About Their Life

Learn from their years of experience and get exciting history lessons by asking the right questions.

Reviewed by Nathalie Maggio, LMFT
Written by Shivani Chandel, MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)  • 

Wondering what questions to ask your grandparents? Why should you ask any questions at all? Well, to learn about their past, and get an idea of your ancestry or family legacy. Yes, you heard that right! Grandparents are no less than a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom acquired through numerous experiences. They are ever-ready to share this knowledge and life lessons with the next generations. But, on the other hand, grandchildren may feel shy to strike up a conversation with them due to the generation gap. So, how do you get them to talk to their grandparents? The holiday season is just around the corner, and it is that time of the year when you get to meet your extended families, from grandparents to the youngest ones in the family tree. You, as a grandkid, may want to make the most of these moments and strengthen your bonds with your grandparents. Ask them questions that encompass your family traditions, family tree, family culture, family roots, lineage, and history, the trials and tribulations of their times, how the current era differs from theirs, and more. How well grandchildren interact with their grandparents also has much to do with how their parents encourage them. The parents should plant some ideas in the minds of their kids on how they can initiate a conversation with their grandparents. In this article, we have listed 155 interesting questions you can ask your grandparents and improve your bond with them. So, let us get started.

155 Interesting Questions To Ask Your Grandparents

So, to make it easier to pick the questions you like based on your suitability, we have categorized the questions to ask grandparents accordingly. These questions will help you know your family heritage and genealogy better. Let us read them now:

Questions To Ask Your Grandparents About Family History

Girl learning about family history of grandparents
Image: Shutterstock
  1.  Where do we originally come from?
  2.  Would you please tell us about our ancestors?
  3.  What was our ancestral home like?
  4.  How did we get our surname?
  5. Did our great-grandparents participate in old wars?
  6.  Do we have a symbol that is significant to our clan?
  7.  Where are our ancestors buried?
  8.  What did our ancestors look like?
  9. Did our ancestors speak any language different from ours?
  10.  What other languages did your grandparents speak?
  11.  What are the most common occupations our ancestors were involved in?
  12. What were your parents’ names?
  13. How far back can our ancestry be traced?
  14. Are you named after a family member?
  15. Where does your first name come from and does it have a special meaning?
  16. Are there any famous people in our family tree?
  17. Are there any family heirlooms that you will pass on to us?
  18. What is your favorite heirloom and what is the story behind it?
  19. Do you have any memories of your grandparents?
  20. Did our family ever own any business at any point in time?
  21. Was there an uncle or aunt that you were especially fond of?
  22. Am I named after anyone important in our family tree?
protip_icon Quick Tip
You may also ask them about their earliest memory. If they remember it, you’ll get a glimpse of their early childhood.

Questions To Ask Your Grandparents About Their Life

Girls ask grandfather about his life.
Image: Shutterstock
  1.  Do you have a different birth name?
  2.  Who gave your official name, and what does it mean?
  3.  What significance does your nickname hold?
  4.  Where did you study?
  5.  What was your academic life like?
  6. What was teaching like, back in your times?
  7. What kind of technology did you use extensively when young?
  8.  Who were your friends during your growing age?
  9.  Were you the kind of person who would annoy your siblings too?
  10.  What was my mom/dad like during childhood?
  11.  Did you have a best friend? If you did, what made them the best?
  12.  What kind of sports did you play during your childhood?
  13.  What places have you visited in your life, and which ones did you love the most among them?
  14.  How did you spend your summer and winter vacations?
  15.  What was your favorite sport?
  16.  Did you have a favorite subject in school? If yes, what was it and why?
  17.  What were your hobbies as a child?
  18.  What kind of food preparations were done during the holiday season before?
  19. Did you have pets as a kid? If you did, what were their names?
  20. What was your childhood home like?
  21. Did you move from place to place in your childhood?
  22. What was your age when you first started driving?
  23. Did you ever learn how to drive a motorcycle?
  24. What did you aspire to be when you were a kid?
  25. Did you achieve any of the dreams that you had as a kid?
  26. What was your most memorable vacation that you spent with your parents?
  27. Is there any place that you still dream of visiting?
  28. Did you ever make a bucket list? If yes, could you do everything on it?
  29. If you were to add one thing to your bucket list today, what would it be and why?
  30. Were you friends with someone who became famous? Do you have photos?
  31. Have you ever met someone famous? If yes, how did you meet them?
  32. What is the biggest risk that you took that paid off?
  33. What was the most difficult challenge that you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
  34. What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you as a young adult?
  35. What popular song did you love as a teenager that you still listen to today?
  36. At what age did you retire?

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can ask them about the places they traveled to and what was their favorite place. Everyone loves to share holiday memories.

Generic Questions To Ask Your Grandmother

  1.  What was life like as a woman of your era?
  2. What were fun activities you did as a girl?
  3.  Did you come across any difficulties while growing up as a female of your time?
  4.  What kind of professions did women in your days take up?
  5. If you felt dreadful at work, what did you do to make yourself feel better?
  6. What was the one thing that you splurged on?
  7. Did you grow up in a tight-knit family?
  8. If you were to choose any career in this world, what would it be?

Generic Questions To Ask Your Grandfather

  1. How would you describe the notion of toxic masculinity in your time?
  2. What were the kinds of jobs that men used to take up in your time?
  3. Were those days simpler for men?
  4. What were the trials and tribulations faced by the men of your generation?
  5. What is a career that you wish you had picked?
  6. If you get a do-over, what would you change about your life?
  7. What is one lesson that you learned then that changed you for the better?
  8. What is one advice that your parents gave you that you passed on to your children and wish to pass on to your grandchildren?

Comparison Questions To Ask Your Grandparents

Girl asking comparison questions to her grandmother
Image: Shutterstock

So it is natural to feel an inclination towards comparing the old times with the present day. And having your grandparents around makes it easier for you to build a much more informed comparison because of the first-hand information you can obtain from them. These comparisons that allow you to find both differences and similarities between the two generations always come in handy while dealing with life and making intelligent decisions. Also, they provide you the ability to gain a different perspective towards life’s uncountable matters, which is extremely important. They may also be able to provide valuable advice based on their life experiences. Therefore, with that vein in mind, we have crafted a few good questions to ask your grandparents concerning this comparison. Let’s dive into it and gain those necessary insights from them.

  1.  Do you think technology, along with making life simpler, has also brought some harmful disruptions to society, unlike your times?
  2.  Do you think that the present generation is less hardworking than people of your days?
  3.  Despite the nutritional values known better today due to the rigorous research and development, do you think we still lack in eating healthy food, unlike the old days?
  4. How is present-day childhood different from the one that your generation lived?
  5.  Do you think that people are more independent than the older generation?
  6.  Do you think that we have more opportunities in life than you did back in your times?
  7.  Would you support today’s digital revolution or the yesteryears’ idea of living with nature closely?
  8.  How does the domain of music differ from the music of your days?
  9.  How would you describe the differences or similarities between the art of your times and ours?
  10.  Do you think science is evolving at a faster rate than before?
  11.  Were the people of your times much more confident following their dreams and aspirations, or is it the generation today?
  12.  Do you think children these days are less affectionate towards people than the children of your time? If yes, then why?
  13.  Do you think that women of our times are much more vocal about their needs than the women of your generation? Would you please state the reasons behind your answer too?
  14.  What do you think is the reason behind people suffering from more and more psychological illnesses compared to folks of your time?
  15. Do you think our lifestyle has become easier or more complicated with the advent of innovative technologies?
  16. If given the opportunity, would you like to live the kind of life I live in the modern era, or would you prefer your era itself?
  17.  Do you think our education system is striving more than before?
  18.  Why do you think we are so dependent on gadgets while you grew up easily without them?
  19.  Do you think most relationships today are futile compared to the ones in your era?
  20. How much did a gallon of gas cost when you started driving compared to today?
  21. How would you describe your high school and college experiences compared to today?
  22. How much did you pay to buy your first house and how much did you pay as rent for your first apartment?
  23. Unlike today, where you can get your news online, did you only depend on newspapers and TV reports for news?
  24. How much was your first salary compared to your last one before you retired?
  25. How did you entertain yourselves when you were young and how do they compare to today’s alternatives?
  26. Do you think that technology has made a massive impact on how you communicate with your friends today compared to back in your day?
  27. What were the values that you followed but now have changed as the world around you changed?
  28. Do you think you are more conscious of the environment and planet now than you were before?
  29. What are some of the social changes that you backed before and what social issues resonate with you today?
  30. What is the one thing that you wish you had then that you have now?
  31. If you could have had one thing/experience/technology/person by your side in the past that you do now, what would it be?
  32. What is the one thing that you did better in your youth than today’s youth?
  33. What were the courting rules that you followed in your youth that you believe are better than today’s dating scene?
  34. What is the one experience that did you good as a teenager that is not experienced by teens today?
  35. In your opinion, was the radio a better option compared to your smartphone while listening to music?
  36. Do you still prefer going to the theaters when you can stream your favorite movies at home on your tablet or computer?
  37. What clothing trends were popular in your teen years and how would you rate today’s teen clothing trends?
  38. What were the best inventions from your time that you wish you still had now?

Funny Questions To Ask Your Grandparents

Funny questions to ask your grandparents
Image: Shutterstock

Well, now let us lighten the mood. You don’t wanna bombard your dear grandparents with endless serious questions, do you? Of course, you don’t. You are getting together to celebrate something and having the greatest of times, especially with them. So why not make merry by asking some extremely fun questions to them, especially something that takes them down the memory and makes them laugh hard? Cool! Let’s get on with it then. Elders reminiscing about the old times and their memories can easily be one of the best storytelling sessions you get to be a part of in your life. Below are some of the best questions to ask your grandparents that will tickle their funny bone big time. And what’s better than the sight of their adorable laughing faces?

Funny Questions To Ask Your Grandma

Granddaughter asking funny questions to grandmother with photo album
Image: Shutterstock
  1.  What kind of mischievous activities were you known for in the family?
  2.  Were you too hesitant to eat healthy food like me?
  3.  What was your wedding like?
  4.  Was it a love marriage with my grandfather?
  5.  Who proposed first?
  6. What was dating like, back in your days?
  7.  Did you have a “bridezilla” moment at your wedding?
  8.  How did you communicate with grandpa while you both were dating?
  9.  If it was an arranged marriage with granddad, how was the initial phase of living with a stranger?
  10.  Was my grandpa like that knight in shining armor for you?
  11.  Was granddad romantic?
  12.  What is the most annoying thing about grandpa?
  13. Did you ever grab a stranger’s hand thinking that it was grandpa?
  14. What is a fashion trend that you loved when you were young?
  15. How long did it take for you to learn how to operate social media?
  16. Did your parents or friends have a nickname for you?
  17. Does grandpa have a special nickname for you?
  18. What is the most embarrassing thing that grandpa did that still makes you laugh?
  19. Did you recently experience any embarrassing situation that made you cringe and laugh at the same time?
  20. What is a fun thing you did with your friends after school?
  21. Did you ever get into any trouble where grandpa had to step in to get you out?
  22. Did you go on a fun trip with your friends where you faced a funny incident?
  23. As a kid, did you ever sneak out of home at night?
  24. Did you ever break your curfew to stay up late at night to read or play?

Funny Questions To Ask Your Grandpa

  1.  Were you a naughty child?
  2.  How did you annoy your parents?
  3.  Who made the first move while you were dating granny?
  4.  Was dating granny peaceful or challenging?
  5.  Did you have to chase granny for a long period of time in college?
  6.  What is that one thing about granny that annoys you?
  7.  How do you make grandma angry purposefully?
  8.  Would you let granny know about anything funny today that you never told her before, fearing she would be mad at you? (Answer at your own risk)
  9.  Did you experience cold feet at your wedding?
  10. Have you ever pranked grandma? What was the prank about?
  11. Did you have fun growing up in the dark ages, with no access to advanced tech and the internet?
  12. What was the most ridiculous thing that my mom/dad did that still makes you laugh?
  13. Did you ever punish mom/dad ever for doing something funny but dangerous at the same time?
  14. Can you show me your best dance move?
  15. What is your favorite dad joke?
  16. What was a weird fashion trend that you liked and followed when you were young?
  17. What is the funniest thing you have ever seen me do while growing up?
  18. Have you ever broken a law before?
  19. Have you ever embarrassed grandma in public?

Infographic: Why Spending Time With Your Grandparents Is Important

Grandparents are such a joy to have in our lives. They are a treasure trove of knowledge and provide comfort and solace. Asking them questions allows you to get to know them and create a special bond. We have listed a few reasons why spending time with your aging grandparents is important.

Check out the infographic below to know more.

why spending time with your grandparents is important (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Family gatherings are meant to be fun. And when you have grandparents in those fun gatherings, you cannot afford to let go of the opportunity to know them and their lives better – to see the world from their eyes and know their opinions.

According to Nathalie Maggio, LMFT, “Spending time with grandparents and asking them questions to find out more about them and their lives can enrich one’s life in many ways. Studies suggest that having a close bond with our grandparents can positively impact our general and emotional well-being. Grandparents often understand your family dynamic better than anyone else. You may grow a deeper understanding into who you are and where certain traits came from.”

So, take your inspiration from the questions to ask your grandparents and put it to good use when you meet them the next time. Not only will you gain knowledge from these questions but also you will make your grandparents feel special.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I text my grandparents?

Here are some joyful message ideas to brighten your grandparents’ day:
• Wishing you an amazing and memorable day!
• Sending love and warm greetings! Just wanted to say hello.
• What exciting plans do you have for the weekend?
• Sending you love, peace, and positive energy!

What do you say to a sick grandma?

Words of encouragement for your grandmother’s recovery:
• Sending you love and positive thoughts. You are strong and will overcome this.
• Grandma, sending you love and prayers for a swift recovery. You are loved!
• Wishing you a quick recovery, Grandma. Sending love and hugs.
• Grandma, take care and get well soon. Sending you love and support.

What are some scholarly Questions you can ask your grandparents?

Since your grandparents were witnesses to the first technological changes in the world, you can ask them about the technological changes they have seen during their lifetime and how things are different from their times.

What are some questions you can ask your grandparents about love?

You can ask questions about their idea of love, which grandparent confessed first, and how they fell in love with each other.

What is a grandparent interview?

Even though the word ‘interview’ might seem formal, a grandparent interview is a casual conversation to understand more about their lives and gain knowledge and values from their years of experience.

Is it okay to ask my grandparents about difficult or sensitive topics?

Yes, you can ask them questions about difficult topics. However, it is important to be empathetic, know your boundaries, and not pry too much about their trauma and personal struggles.

How can I ensure that my grandparents feel comfortable and valued during our conversations?

You can create a comfortable environment by including some good food and music to make it easy for them. Be respectful of the questions you ask and be patient when they answer to ensure they feel comfortable while talking to you.

What are some common misconceptions about elderly people that I should be aware of when talking to my grandparents?

Misconceptions like they are old-fashioned, not tech-savvy, or uninteresting are quite commonly associated with elderly people. Ensure that you do not allow these misconceptions to stop you from interacting with your grandparents and understanding their lives and gaining wisdom from them.

Key Takeaways

  • Q&As, when done right, is a fun playful way to know your grandparents better.
  • You can get to know about their likes, dislikes, preferences and opinions, in a fun jovial way.
  • Asking important questions and understanding their stance may help strengthen the bond and give you clarity about many of life’s important aspects from their personal experiences.

Take a look at this video containing the top questions that you can ask your grandparents to learn more about their unique experiences and stories.
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