About Family "Genograms" (Maps)
A "genogram" is simple way of diagramming who belongs to your multi-generational family, and how members relate to each other. Well-constructed genograms, structural maps, and family trees can illuminate "problems" at a glance - specially in complex situations like divorced families and stepfamilies.
Standard mapping symbols are squares for males, circles for females, horizontal connector-lines for unions, and vertical or slanted lines for children from a union. Include dead and absent family members, fetuses, pets, adopted and foster kids, nannies, house keepers, important friends and supporters, in-laws, ex mates, and their significant relatives too - anyone whose personalities, genes, existence, and behavior "significantly" affects the family. Some people choose to include spiritual entities like God and Guardian Angels also.
Optional info to add includes ages, birth, immigration, graduation, marriage, and death dates, occupations, educational degrees, hobbies, religious faith, and major achievements.
Drawing and discussing a genogram can be a fun, interesting activity for one or more family meetings, and a great way for young people to learn who they are. // detail