Conversation starters

The best stories come from the heart. Every family has heaps of memorable stories that are suitable for collecting and protecting. We know that sometimes it is not easy thinking up stories your family wants to protect. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at some of these ideas to get you thinking about the story your family could be protecting.

Growing up
Where did you grow up? What was it like being a child there?

Tell me about your favourite childhood memory.

What were you like as a child/young person? How have you changed?

Tell me about your OE?

Tell me about the person that had the greatest influence in your life.

Tell me about when you first met your husband/wife/partner? What was your first impression of them?

What was your relationship like with your parents? How does it differ from the relationship you have with your children?

Tell me about your grandparents. What was their life like compared to yours?

What was my mum/dad like as a child? What is your favourite story about them?

Family stories
What are the funny stories your family tells about you?

Tell me about your favourite family story teller? What was their favourite story?

What is your favourite story about your family?

What are your family traditions?

Tell me about your grandparents. What was their life like compared to yours?

Who are the black sheep in the family? What did they do?

NZ historical events
What do you remember about the Springbok Tour?  How did you feel about this?

What are your memories of the war? How did it affect you/your family?

When New Zealand went nuclear free, how did you feel about this decision?

What moments in New Zealand’s history have influenced your life?


What was school like for you? What were you like at school?

Tell me about the teacher who influenced your life.

What were your favourite subjects at school? What did you like about them?

Who were your best friends at school/university? Are you still friends with them?

Tell me about your first job.What did you spend your first pay packet on?

Turning points
What were the turning points in your life?

How did you feel when you found out you were going to be a parent?  How did life change when you became a parent?

Tell me about moving to [location]? Were you scared/excited/upset?


Moving to New Zealand
Tell me the story of how your family came to live in New Zealand.

What was your first impression of New Zealand? What did you do to settle into life here?

How did you preserve your culture/traditions/language when you moved to New Zealand?

Life lessons to pass on
What advice would you like to pass onto your grandchildren?

What did you learn from your grandparents?








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