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We also recognise that you may want to do this yourself with your loved ones – here are some tips on how to get started and some of the types of questions you might like to ask.
Try to ask “open questions” that encourage people to talk and expand on their experiences rather than “closed” questions (questions with either “yes” or “no” answers).
Start with a topic that you already know something about (this will help both parties feel more relaxed). Are there any family stories or family history you already know about that they could tell you more about?
Follow the conversation with wherever it goes unless they need prompting. Let the person talking take their story wherever they want it to go…
Give the person plenty of time to respond and try not to interrupt unless they need prompting.
Make sure you have the time and space to listen. It is worth allowing some time to chat – you don’t want to have to cut people short by having to leave for an appointment. Try to find an uninterrupted space for confidentiality.
Below are 10 prompting questions to help you and your loved ones get started on a life story!
|1. What is the earliest memory that you have?|
|2. Can you remember where you lived when you were growing up? What was it like for you?|
|3. Who else was living with you when you were growing up?|
|4. Can you tell me a bit more about your family?|
|5. Do you remember what school you went to and what was it like?|
|6. What about when you went to secondary school? What was that like?|
|7. What did you do/ what happened when you left school?|
|8. What did you do for fun?|
|9. What sort of music did you listen to?|
|10. Have you got any words of wisdom or advice for the younger people in your family?|
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