Written Assignment – maximum 2 pages
Conduct a family observation – on your own family – or a family on TV
Take notes on your observations.
One suggestion is to divide note taking into 3 sections: speaker, content, process observations.
Be alert for expressions, body movements, interruptions, topic changes, and times that one family member disconfirms another by ignoring, changing the topic, disparaging the speaker, or bringing in a third party.
Who sits close to whom?
Who’s farthest away from whom?
Does this proximity and distance reflect the level of verbal involvement between members or not?
Who talks to whom?
What is the emotional climate in the family, what they talk about and the way they interact during periods of calm versus periods of tension?
Students should apply their knowledge of family systems theory to analyze their observations, with particular attention to various pairings — parents with each child, parents with each other, etc