Does your family enjoy reminiscing about the past? Take advantage of these precious moments to learn more about your loved ones.
Talking through your family history can be therapeutic. During these reminiscing times, don’t be afraid to ask questions or bring out photo albums or mementos to spark a moment in time that allows for a fun and sometimes touching exercise.
There are many ways to start off these insightful conversations.
One helpful tool is the internet—it will offer quite a few sample questions to help you get started.
The day’s news or events can also be a great place to begin. For example, if you purchased gasoline on your way to visit, you may mention the cost per gallon and ask how much it was when your parent/grandparent was learning to drive. This can take you on a journey of follow up questions like, who taught you to drive? Where did you learn? What kind of car was it? What did you have to do to get your license?
What seems like a mundane life experience can actually help generate a whole new perspective about what your loved ones were like when they were younger. You may even see similarities in personality, mannerisms and talents in yourself or another relative.
Another way to spark conversation is to watch a documentary about an important event or person in history. This can bring people back to that moment and share details they may have forgotten themselves. Mining these memories with positive encouragement makes everyone feel important.
So, be creative, think about the time of year we’re in now—back to school—or what you ate for lunch that day or things your children have said, take these experiences and turn them into questions. Then, sit back and listen or record stories that you will cherish forever.