Browsing the web, there’s a lot of stories about questions to ask your parents that make it seem like it’s something you should do right now! I agree with this, but the way some of them basically say it makes me think they didn’t ask them while their parents were still alive.
Death isn’t a topic many like talking about, but if you’re curious about your family history, or just want to learn more about where your parents/siblings/you came from, it’s worth asking these questions to get the answers… while you still can. (Ugh. I’m doing it too.)
In all seriousness, I’ve asked my mom and dad a few of these questions, and I want to ask more. Debating on what to ask won’t be a problem after you read this list I’ve put together. I really hope it’s useful for you, and the questions help you get to know your parents more. The list is geared towards adults, but kids will be able to get some of the information they need too.
So, let’s get started!
- 21 Questions to Ask Your Parents Today
- 1 – What was your happiest childhood memory?
- 2 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
- 3 – What do you feel was your most important job?
- 4 – What do you remember about your parents?
- 5 – What were you like in high school?
- 6 – What was your favorite class in high school?
- 7 – How did you meet your partner?
- 8 – What happened during your first date with your partner?
- 9 – What are your top three favorite songs?
- 10 – What is your favorite movie?
- 11 – What was your favorite book?
- 12 – What was one of your biggest accomplishments?
- 13 – What was your favorite sports team?
- 14 – What is the most difficult thing about raising children?
- 15 – What was your favorite place as a child?
- 16 – What is your favorite thing in the world?
- 17 – Was I a good or bad child growing up?
- 18 – What are your favorite foods, colors, and television shows?
- 19 – Why did you give me my name?
- 20 – Who do you wish you could reconnect with?
- 21 – What gifts would you like to receive for your birthday or for Christmas?
- 21 Questions to Ask Your Parents Today: Final Thoughts
21 Questions to Ask Your Parents Today
Here’s my list of questions for your parents.
1 – What was your happiest childhood memory?
This is a question that will give you a glimpse into your parent’s childhood. Maybe you’re thinking that isn’t what you want to hear, but I bet it’s pretty interesting. By learning about what made your parents happy when they were younger, you can have a better understanding of who they are.
As parents get older, it becomes more difficult for them to remember their childhood, so asking this question can spur their memory and hopefully allow them to share a few more stories with you.
2 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
I know this might sound like a very general question, but I think it’s very interesting. I love hearing about how my parents pictured themselves as an adult, when they were my age or younger. Asking this question also provides insight into their personality, as well as their goals and ambitions. Also, it’s interesting to see if they followed through on their childhood dreams or not.
People usually say they wanted to be a teacher, nurse, doctor, dentist, or firefighter/police officer. I think it’s nice that these are common answers, because it means we all want to help others. I like hearing about the jobs that aren’t typically mentioned though. I’ve heard of different careers that were never on my radar, and it’s cool to hear how families thought about their future.
3 – What do you feel was your most important job?
This question will give you an idea of what was important to your parents. Maybe they’ll tell you about a job they once had that made a big impact in their life.
I asked my dad this question, and he said it was being a parent. That made me feel really happy. I know that’s important to him, but I never knew that’s what he thought was his most important career (you could call it a job). It’s neat that he mentioned it, and I think it’s special that he thinks so highly of being a parent.
4 – What do you remember about your parents?
Learning more about your grandparents from your parents can be interesting. Maybe your grandpa always liked to joke around and tell crazy stories, or your grandma was always talking about traveling around Europe.
My mom grew up with seven brothers and sisters, so she told me that her dad was always a little stressed out. He was always working as a hard as he could, trying to take care of his family. I think that’s a trait that my mom inherited, because she also worked pretty hard to raise us. It’s nice to see where some of the fun family characteristics come from over time.
5 – What were you like in high school?
Sometimes when I’m going through old pictures, I stumble across a picture of my parents with their friends in high school. It’s interesting to see how different my parents were in high school, and it’s fun to hear about the stories from those times.
Asking this question can produce some fun conversations, because you know your parents haven’t thought about this stuff in along time. You can learn a lot about your parents, as well as their friends during those years. An old school yearbook is even more fun.
6 – What was your favorite class in high school?
I’m sure your parents had a lot of favorite classes when they were in high school. Maybe they always loved reading or they were in the school band. I know my parents were involved in sports, so they probably had some favorite teachers who helped them out with that.
By asking this question, you can learn what your parents were like when they were younger. You’ll probably be able to tell if they were an early bird or a night owl. This also tells you what they wanted to do when they were older.
7 – How did you meet your partner?
I love hearing about my parents’ stories of how they met. It’s very interesting to hear their perspective on this. My mom and dad have been married for over 40 years, but it wasn’t love at first sight for them. Hearing about how their relationship developed makes me feel more connected to them.
Some people say that knowing how our parents met makes us feel more secure about our own relationships. I think that’s true to some extent, because we can feel more confident that love is something that’s worth fighting for no matter what.
8 – What happened during your first date with your partner?
I love hearing the story of how my parents met, and their first date was no different. If you ask them this question, you might be surprised at their answer. My dad was on a date with a woman from work, and my mom went on a date with a guy who used to hang out with her brother. My dad’s date went really well, and he ended up having a good time with my mom later on.
I think it’s interesting that my parents were both on dates with other people when they met. It’s fun to think that maybe it was meant to be and they just didn’t realize it at the time. I guess friendship was an easier thing to form back then, and it doesn’t seem like you have to be romantically involved in order to spend time with each other.
9 – What are your top three favorite songs?
By asking this question, you could end up with a lot of songs in a playlist. My mom and dad sing a lot of songs from the 1960s and 1970s, so that was fun to hear. I think it’s also cool to hear about their favorite songs, as well as their memories about those songs.
By asking this question, you’ll probably be able to tell if your parents like to sing or not. Maybe you’ll be able to find out if they liked to dance (I know they liked to dance!).
10 – What is your favorite movie?
Learning about my parents’ favorite movies is always interesting. I love watching these movies with my parents. Not only do I get to learn more about them, but I also get to enjoy some of their favorite movies.
I always feel like a kid getting to watch TV when my parents watch a movie I’ve never seen before. It’s always fun for us to make up our own names for the characters and make up stories about them (we always act like the characters are our friends). I seriously love these times.
11 – What was your favorite book?
I’ve heard my parents talk about some of their favorite books, but I don’t think I’ve ever asked them this question. I think it would be fun to learn about their reading habits and see what they thought were the most important books.
We all have favorite books and we can relate to some of the stories in those books, but I think it’s important to hear what my parents liked. Maybe they’ll mention a book they enjoyed while they were in high school. I’m sure there are some classics that they’ll mention too.
12 – What was one of your biggest accomplishments?
I’m sure there are still a lot of things you can learn about your parents by asking them this question. Maybe they can tell you about a time when they were nominated for an award or when they were asked to participate in a special event.
My dad always tells me about the first job he got. He had a small business that he ran for a while. I’m pretty sure he had something to do with computers back then, because I know they’ve always been important to him. Maybe you’ll learn about an important job your parents had in their youth.
13 – What was your favorite sports team?
Asking your parents about their favorite sports teams is probably something you can relate to. Maybe you’ll like the same team, or else you’ll get to hear about the different teams they liked.
My parents really like both basketball and baseball, so I get to hear about each of those sports. I’ve learned a lot about the NBA, and I know a lot about the MLB. I think it’s cool to hear about all of the different teams my parents have a lot about. Maybe you’ll learn about a new team you didn’t even know about before (I know I’m always learning something new).
14 – What is the most difficult thing about raising children?
I think it would be interesting to find out about the changes between when my parents were raising me and when they raised my siblings. I think it’s also important to hear about the things that were difficult for them during those times.
I like hearing about all of the things my parents did when I was younger. It’s fun to see how much my parents have changed over the years. If you ask this question, you might get some answers that throw you off guard. Just remember that your parents love you, even if they’re not perfect.
15 – What was your favorite place as a child?
Learning about the places where your parents grew up is a fun way to learn more about their childhoods, but you can also learn about all of the places they’ve been during their lifetime.
I know my parents have been to a lot of different places and have a lot of different memories, so it would be interesting to hear about the best memories from their past. I’m sure there are lots of other memories from even farther back in their past.
16 – What is your favorite thing in the world?
What is your favorite thing in the world? Mine? Cheese steak sandwiches! Okay, besides cheese steak sandwiches. I love cheese sandwiches, but I also love pizza, tacos, and other kinds of sandwiches. 😉
I guess you could say my parents love their kids and grandkids. That’s a lot of love to give! I love my own children (and husband), and I’m sure my parents feel the same way. Just pondering that for a half-hour can give you a whole new perspective on life.
17 – Was I a good or bad child growing up?
By asking this question, you’ll be able to find out if your parents liked the way you grew up. Maybe you’ll find out that you did something you thought was super awesome, but it was actually something your parents didn’t like very much.
Better yet, maybe your parents will tell you that you did something that seemed like a little thing at the time, but your parents thought it was way cool. Either way, you’ll probably learn that there are a lot of things you never thought of when it comes to the way you act and the things you do.
18 – What are your favorite foods, colors, and television shows?
Maybe you’ll find out that your parents really like the same foods as you. Maybe you’ll even find out that you like the same colors, or that you have a favorite TV show in common. Learning more about your parents can be an entertaining process.
I think it’s also fun to learn about your parents’ favorite foods. You might have a chance to have your parents cook for you (if they like to cook). You could also learn about some foods your parents aren’t big fans of. That might get you thinking about some fun things you could do with your own kids.
19 – Why did you give me my name?
I think it’s interesting to learn about the stories behind my parents’ choice of my name. I know it was a fun process, and I’m so glad they shared their thoughts with me. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate them so much more.
One of my favorite parts is when they tell the stories of how they came up with my name. It’s so much fun when they tell me stories of how they found a name they liked and thought was suitable. (And it’s from the bible!)
20 – Who do you wish you could reconnect with?
Asking this question will give you an idea of who your parents are and how they think of life. Maybe you’ll learn about a favorite teacher, or maybe you’ll get to find out about the relatives that your parents don’t get to see very often.
I’m sure it’s fun for your parents to think about the things that could have affected their lives if they made different decisions. You might also learn about people that your parents wish they could get to know better.
21 – What gifts would you like to receive for your birthday or for Christmas?
The process of asking this question could be a lot of fun. Maybe you’ll learn about books or movies your parents have been wanting to watch, or maybe you’ll find out that one of your parents wants to learn a new skill.
Either way, you’ll have a head start on what to get them this holiday season!
21 Questions to Ask Your Parents Today: Final Thoughts
Ugh. Final thoughts. There I go again with sounding all doom and gloom. I guess I just have a problem with endings.
Other people might think this is a weird thing to say, but a lot of people change a lot after they’ve become parents. My mom and dad, for example, are totally different now than they were before I was born.
Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s not. In fact, I think it’s really awesome that I got to grow up with the kind of people that they are now. But it’s still strange when you think about it.
The point is, I think you should learn about your parents and what makes them tick. You should remember that they’re people as well, and they have some pretty cool stories to tell. You should never assume that they know what they’re talking about, just because they’re your parents.
Because the truth is, people change over the years. They’ve had different experiences, and they’ve learned new things. And I don’t just mean the things you learn in school.
Maybe your parents were more outgoing when they were younger, but now they enjoy spending more time at home. There could be a thousand different things that could make your parents different from when you were younger, and learning about those things will help you understand them better.
That’s why I think this list is so cool. I’ve said it before, but asking your parents these questions will help you to get to know them better. And isn’t learning about your parents just part of being a kid?
If you’ve never asked any of these questions before, now is a great time to start. So get out there, and find out what makes your parents tick!