- What is a tradition or communication practice that is significant to your family identity? (This could be a way you celebrate birthdays or a unique way of greeting each other.) Explain its contribution to your family identity.
- Do you feel closer to your friends or your family members? Are there certain family members with whom you do not feel comfortable sharing personal information? Do some family members elicit negative reactions? How do you balance your different feelings for different family members? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 337.)
- Think about what type of family you were part of as a child—nuclear, extended, stepfamily—and consider what made you into a family. Were you joined by blood or something else? Does growing up with a certain type of family affect your attitudes toward other types of families? For instance, if you grew up in a nuclear family, do you regard stepfamilies as “real” families? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 326.)
- Consider your satisfaction with your family communication pattern. Does it meet your needs? Explain. What steps, if any, could you take to change the pattern?
- What is an example of a family story that is prominent in your family? When is it most often told? What is the result of the telling?
- How would you characterize the level of self-disclosure in your family? Do all family members share their thoughts and feelings with each other? Are some topics taboo? How do you manage the dialectic of openness versus protection in your family?
- What were your experiences with your parents’ or caregivers’ approaches to balancing autonomy and connection? Were they “helicopter parents”? Are they still?