365 Days of Fun in Marriage

No more boring marriage! Try 365 for communication and ideas to add fun to everyday life.

Question Your Parents

September8
  • Tip # 131

 

The Way Things Used to Be  

from Clipart.com

Come up with a list of questions that you as a couple can ask both your parents or guardians or even grandparents. Most people know a handful of stories from their own parents or grandparents, but for the most part that knowledge is limited.

Find a time or better yet, several times, when you can talk with each of the parents to find out what things were like when they were growing up. Here’s a few ideas for questions to think about (use your own list–but feel free to borrow this one):

  • What were the houses built of? (when Jack’s mom was young, her house was made of sod)
  • What were the prices of various groceries, such as milk, eggs, bread, et cetera?
  • What was the price of gasoline?
  • How much was candy and what kind did you have?
  • What did you do for entertainment? 
  • What toys did you play with?
  • Did you ever use skeleton keys for anything?
  • How did you do the laundry or how did your parents do the laundry?
  • How did you take photos?
  • What were you allowed to do that you never let your children (us) do, such as swim in ponds alone, go hunting or fishing alone, walk to school alone and how far?
  • What type clothing did you wear for school?
  • What was your school day like?
  • How did you heat and cool your house?
  • When did you start dating and where did you go on dates?
  • What was your house like?
  • What were the grocery stores like?
  • Where did you buy your clothes or how did you get them?
  • What did you have for lunch when you were at school?
  • How often did you wash your hair and how?
  • Did kids have hair perms and or hair rollers?
  • How did you dry your hair?
  • Did you have TV, radio programs, or what?
  • What major events do you remember happening?
  • What’s the best thing you learned from your parents or because of your parents?
  • Did you have birthday parties?
  • What illnesses did people in your family have?
  • What were telephones like? Did you have a party line? Do you remember your phone number?
  • What were your holiday’s like?
  • What did your family do for entertainment?
  • What do you think of the most when you compare when you were young to today?
  •  and of course, the list could go on and on.

Why have a list of questions? Though most people love to share their stories, some people either are hesitant to talk about their life or can’t think of anything to say. By having the list, it prods them to think of things they can share. It also shows more compassion that you care enough to want to know about them.

Why do this? Years after it’s impossible to ask your parents or grandparents these questions, you may wish you knew more about them. Then, it’s too late.

Plus, knowing things like this, gives more ideas of conversations for you as a couple to share with each other. It also provides conversation fodder in talking about how different things used to be and talking about how similar or different you each grew up.

(How much do you know about each other’s parents? Think about keeping a record of these answers so your own children and grandchildren will have them–and maybe they’ll “interview” you.)

~ Glenda (gj)

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