What to Ask Your Older Relatives This Thanksgiving

If you feel like you don’t know what to say to your older relatives, you may be asking the wrong questions. On this Thanksgiving Day, consider bringing in more than just a dish, but a few questions to inspire your grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives to share their stories.

If you’re not sure where to start, the Mom’s Place for the aged care resource site lists 20 questions to ask your older family members , including:

  • “What did you want to be when you grew up?”
  • “How did you meet your wife?” (You might want to personalize this a bit.)
  • “What life advice would you give your grandchildren?”

Family Tree Magazine also lists 20 questions , including:

  • “Tell me about your first child’s birthday.” (Again, you need to tweak them before saying them out loud.)
  • “Who are some of your heroes?”
  • “Tell me about some of the places where you’ve been happiest.”

You can also ask older relatives what their Thanksgiving was like when they were kids (chances are they will have many stories of family gatherings and favorite foods) or if they would like to share at the table when they first started cooking now. … a traditional holiday dish. Subjecting the questions and fitting them naturally into the dialogue can work much better than pulling a large open-ended question out of nowhere – unless, of course, you want to sit a relative down for a one-on-one conversation. interview.

There are three good reasons to ask a lot of questions to grandparents and great aunties in connection with Thanksgiving. The first and most important reason is that it helps you connect with loved ones you may not see regularly. If you are uncomfortable talking to older relatives, good questions can lead you to an unforgettable conversation.

The second reason is that these stories won’t last forever. Many families put their holiday energy into photographing and recording their youngest visitors, but it is equally rewarding to turn on the camera on your great-grandfather and capture some of their memories for future generations of the family.

The third reason – which can be a real life hack here – is that thoughtfully asking older relatives about their lives gives everyone around the table less time to ask curious questions about you.

What questions do you like to ask older relatives during the holidays? Have you ever asked a question that led to a particularly memorable conversation or understanding? Are there any questions to avoid?


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