Family Excavation Tool 

These are some helpful questions to talk through with a spouse or trusted friend to help you identify the values you’ve been handed from your family!


  • Describe your mom/dad in three words.

  • How was conflict/anger/tension handled in your home? 

  • What was considered “success” in your family? 

  • How did your parents handle personal failures? When they messed up would they hide it? Did they talk about it? Did they own their mistakes? 

  • Were there any “heroes” or “villains” in your family?

    • Who were they and what did they do to become the “hero” or “villain?”

  • Were these individuals singled out? 

  • What generational patterns or themes do you recognize from your family history?

    • Addiction, affairs, abuse, divorce, mental illness, blended families, etc.

  • What traumatic losses did your family experience?

    • Death, prolonged illness, bankruptcy, miscarriage, divorce, etc.

  • What insights (one or two) are you becoming aware of that help you make sense of how your family culture is making an impact on who you are today and the values you are handing down to your family?