Interview An Elderly Person:
We’ve all seen those movies that start with an elderly person telling a story. The scene begins by taking you back to what happened, and slowly you forget someone’s talking and start to focus on the story itself. There’s something about someone who’s lived a long life, with all the stories they often have to tell. With a little bit of homework – and some luck – you’ll find some fantastic stories out there.
The trick and challenge for this date is the work done beforehand. The quality of your interview and date depends on what you do before the interview. You can interview an older person without any reason or rhyme. You may have an older relative you’d like to sit down with. If so, that works perfectly, and you don’t have far to go. The angle of your interview might be to learn as much as possible about a grandparent, aunt, or uncle before he or she is gone. If you’d rather try to find the most interesting stories, you may want to research someone who might have good ones to tell. Ask your friends and family, and see if they recommend someone. Or use media outlets like Facebook to find recommendations.
Another approach to choose who you interview is to take a historical event that interests you or your child. Look for someone who was at the past event or lived through it. Let’s say you just watched a movie or read a newspaper article about something that happened a long time ago where you live. If that’s the case and you want to learn more, do your homework and find someone who was there if possible. If it was an event outside your town, you could always do a phone interview.
The other aspect of your preparation is to sit down with your child in advance and write down a list of questions to take along. You may have some spontaneous questions, but the more prepared you are for this, the higher quality an interview you’ll get.
WMTDS (What Makes This Date Special):
This date is so personal, especially if it’s with someone in your family. It gives relatives a great sense of pride to know that a much younger family member cares enough to ask about lives. Or even if you don’t remember your interviewee, there is something unique about sitting down with a senior citizen to ask about what happened a while ago. You’d walk away feeling good about the conversation, and possibly a future relationship going forward if you didn’t already have one.
Advanced preparation and planning
How to conduct an interview
Respect and treatment of others
A possible history lesson with certain interviews
The teachable moments that come with a date like this involve showing your kids how important it is to prepare for something. So often in life, our plans succeed or fail to depend on the preparation beforehand. You also can teach them about respect and treatment of someone much older than them.
You can conduct your interview at your interviewee’s place of residence or perhaps his or her favorite restaurant. Find a place that will give everyone a comfortable environment.
This date can be completely free, or there may be some expense if you conduct your interview at a restaurant.
Planning will be the most challenging part – but also one of the best. If you enjoy research, this will be a date right up your alley. If you don’t like research at all, you may want to focus on interviewing an elderly person that is a family member or friend.
For a list of other ideas on how to spend one-on-one time with your child, see the full list here.