Asking questions helps to solidify the bond with your granddaughter in a number of ways. First, it tells her that you value what’s going on in her life. Next, it gives you an opportunity to learn what’s on her heart and mind at any given moment. Her answers will also help you identify areas where she may be receptive to your input.

child-smilingGranddaughters appreciate daily review. They like to be asked questions like: “What happened at school today?” “How’s it going?” “Did everything go well with your friends today?” “Did any bad things happen today?” Girls feel cared for when their grandparents make an effort to connect to their everyday world. Don’t forget to maintain eye contact and wait for the answer.

Grandparents can ask specific questions about the boys or young men in their lives. “How old is the guy I want to go out with?” “How are guys treating you at school?” “Are you being pressured sexually by any guy?” “How is your love life or lack of a love life?” There’s no need to assume that everything is going well. Depending on the relationship, grandparents may be seen as more sympathetic and less adversarial.

Grandparents can ask questions with emotional implications. For example: “Do you know how much I love you?” “How are you doing lately as far as emotional stuff?” “Are you upset about anything?” “How are you feeling?” These questions suggest that a grandparent should be able to emotionally track with their granddaughters.

Finally, grandparents can ask questions related to their future and their faith. These questions could include: “What are your goals?” “What are you thinking about your future?” “What is God showing you?” “How are your spiritual life, your quiet times and your relationship with God?”

Grandparents, you may not be at a point where you can start asking your daughter these types of questions. If you aren’t, spend more time with her and start with some of the simpler questions I have listed below until deeper questions are more appropriate.

It’s amazing some of the things we will commit to memory — like key stats for a sports team, the lyrics of an old song or words of a famous leader. But how many of us can answer even simple questions about our grandchildren, who are as important to us as anyone or anything in our lives? Building on the questions above, here are some of our all-time favorites. These questions will help you explore new territory with your grandchild.

  • Who is your all-time hero?
  • What is your most prized possession?
  • What is your favorite meal?
  • Who’s your best friend?
  • If you had $20 to spend, what would you buy?
  • What would you like to do when you grow up?
  • What do you most like to do with me?
  • What causes you to lose sleep?
  • What were your greatest achievements and disappointments in the last year?
  • What’s one area in which I can support you in the next six months?

Even for connected grandparents, these questions can serve as a wake-up call. Our time with our grandchildren is short and we can’t miss an opportunity to sit down and find out more about what makes them tick.