Here are five questions that kids should ask their grandparents to bring them all closer together:
1. Where do our ancestors come from?
This is a chance for grandparents to explain their ancestry in a way that their grandchild can remember it. The children will not be so excited to hear about aunt or uncle so-and-so, but they will be proud and happy to know that they are from Europe, the South Pacific, Africa or Asia. By getting out a map or viewing one online and actually show the children where their ancestors originated, the child can be more informed.
Our granddaughter who is eight years old is learning about immigration in school. She recently asked her grandfather, my husband, if he was an immigrant. She was very studious as she read each question on the questionnaire. It was very educational for her and definitely brought her closer to her grandpa. It also helps her understand current events better and gives her something further to discuss in her classroom.
2. How much education do you have?
A short answer could be "high school" or "college." Depending on the grandparents' experiences, they could also explain how much they valued their education. Though times have changed in many ways, including vocational opportunities, education still is a common thread through the generations.
A child can choose to follow their grandparents' example (or not) if they know their grandparents had difficulty making ends meets. They can also acquire empathy for those who struggle to get an education to care for their family.
This question can have quite an influence on the future of a child, since they can see the end result of persistence in school.
My own paternal grandfather went to college, having been influenced by his own ancestors, many of whom were well educated. He did better than most through The Great Depression and was able to provide well for his wife and children.
3. How do you feel about marriage?
Today, when marriage and family are being devalued, this question can have a radical effect on a child's future. If the grandparents have been married for many years, it can show the child that it is possible. It will also help them realize that marriage takes work and commitment.
My own maternal grandparents survived The Great Depression, many health problems and a large family with little resources. They have been an inspiration to me and solidified my commitment to my own marriage.
The child may only have a romantic perception of marriage from fairytale stories and movies they are exposed to. By asking their grandparents about their marriage, they can see that romantic love is only a facet of the whole picture.
4. What are your personal beliefs?
Children learn what is important to their grandparents by asking this question. Grandparents may share their convictions and what they value most in this life. Beliefs determine our behavior and can shape who we become. Our children can learn so much by asking this question to their grandparents and will benefit them in the future.
For example, when choosing a partner, having opposite or different beliefs can break a relationship. Having common beliefs can solidify it. By asking this question about personal beliefs, it can help a child when it comes time to make important life decisions.
Grandparents can also share traditions of gratitude, value of family, importance of work and service, and the power of positivity amongst other beliefs.
This will be valuable information for a child to know. Filling out forms at a doctor's office usually require information about family medical history. It is wise to know if a close family member had arthritis, cancer, diabetes or a number of other maladies. A child can learn what lifestyle is best for them to avoid future disease.
Not every person is lucky enough to know their grandparents. If they died young, knowing what caused their early demise can also influence how a child takes care of themselves.
Unfortunately for my grandchildren, I have a DNA mutation. This knowledge can help them if they develop certain symptoms. With proper medication, they can avoid suffering and get the proper medical care.
Personally, I feel that these five questions can bridge the gaps that may exist between the new generation and their grandparents. The answers can provide them with a more solid foundation to maneuver successfully in this life.