top of page

Conversational Questions to Learn About Families and FAMILY FAMILY by Laurie Frankel

Cover of the book Family Family by Laurie Frankel used to describe conversational questions to learn about families

India Allwood first fell in love in high school and, with him, became pregnant. They struggled to decide what to do (Abortion? Adoption? Stay together forever? Single parent?) before ultimately deciding to place their daughter with a single mother. India and her high-school boyfriend broke up shortly after the baby was born.


India moved away for college, an acting program in New York. Again, she fell in love, found herself pregnant, and placed their son with a family of two dads. Things didn’t work out with this boyfriend, though they remained in each other’s hearts.


Years later, then a famous actress, India decided to become a mother. Her first choice path to motherhood was adoption. It took work and time, but she (doubly) got her wish.


Recently, India’s career hit the skids amidst a PR nightmare. In response, her entire family (including India’s two biological children, their parents, her adopted children, her high school first love, and her college boyfriend/love of her life) all came together to support her.


In India’s words, “Regardless of how they get made, family is a force to be reckoned with.” Families are diverse, complicated, beautiful, and a little messy. Only sometimes does a family perfectly fit the stereotype of a biological mom and dad. To truly know someone, it’s essential to understand who they consider family, whether they are related by love, blood, or crucial pieces of paper.


Here are conversational questions to learn about families:


First, Love: “Who do you love?” “Who is important to you?” “Who provides you with support?” “Who do you consider family?”


Then, Function: “What does your family do together?” “Where do people in your family live?” “How do people in your family support each other?” “What is challenging about your family?”


Also, Bonds: “What is your role in the family?” “What are your relationships like with other people in your family?”


Finally, Change: “Can you tell me about people you’ve considered family who aren’t in your family anymore?” “Who do you think will join your family?”  










bottom of page