A Simple Game For Building a Stronger Family

stronger familyJohn Gottman, PhD, who is basically the king of marriage therapy in my opinion, gets couples to play a game to enhance a couple’s Love Maps. The general concept is that each person in a relationship has a “love map” in which they store information about their partner. The relationships that last have partners with “full” love maps. In other words, they know a lot about their partner’s dreams, fears, goals, hopes, quirks, likes, dislikes, and so on.

This concept of the love map has me thinking lately… I wonder if this can apply to families as well? Are happy families also in tune with one another on a deep emotional level as well? By pulling from the idea of Gottman’s love map for couples, I have come up with questions for families. This game can be played with children from preschool on up, but questions may be modified. If you don’t like these, or think of more great questions, go ahead and change it up a bit. And if you have good questions, please share with the rest of us! 🙂

Step 1: As a family, decide upon 10 numbers between 1 and 40.

Step 2: One family member at a time takes a number and the corresponding question from the list below and asks another family member to answer. The person asking may choose who they want to ask this question. If other members want to voluntarily share their answer, they may do so only after the first person chosen has answered.

Final Tip: There is not much to this game other than answering some questions, so I recommend doing it over pizza, during a winter camp fire, before starting a movie, or just before bed time.


  1. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  2. When do you get angry?
  3. What are your three favorite past times?
  4. What is your ideal vacation and who would you bring?
  5. If you received a $5000 gift, how would you spend it?
  6. If you could be the top player in any sport, what would it be?
  7. Describe one of you happiest memories with your family.
  8. What do you like most about yourself?
  9. What do you like most about your family?
  10. What is your favorite season of the year?
  11. What do you desire most for your birthday this year?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  13. Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
  14. What book or magazine are you currently reading?
  15. What is your favorite board game?
  16. What is your favorite card game?
  17. What talents are you most proud of?
  18. Share a time when your feelings were hurt.
  19. Tell about a time when you felt proud of yourself.
  20. Tell about a time when you felt supported by one, or more, person in your family.
  21. Tell about a time when you stood up for someone or something.
  22. What do you feel challenged by lately?
  23. Where is your favorite room in the house?
  24. Where do you feel safest?
  25. Say three words to describe how you are feeling right now.
  26. If you could be invisible, where would you go?
  27. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
  28. What are your three favorite foods?
  29. What do you like most about yourself?
  30. If you discovered a burried treasure, what would you hope to be inside?
  31. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
  32. If everything in your life changed except for one thing, what would be the one thing that stayed the same?
  33. If you could have lunch with a famous person, who would it be?
  34. What is the greatest change that has ever taken place in your life?
  35. What values have you learned from your parents?
  36. Who do you most desire to be like?
  37. What is your favorite cartoon?
  38. Talk about a time when someone helped you.
  39. Talk about a time when you helped someone.
  40. What is your favorite section at the zoo?