Efforts towards social and family engineering take many varied forms:
Alex: Shane, when are you gonna get married?
Shane: (thinks) Oh, I don’t know – not everyone gets married, y’ know.
Alex: No, but I think you should.
Shane: Ok. Thank you for that.
Alex: I think you should.
Shane: Yes, ok.
Alex: (pause) Well?
Shane: Well what?
Alex: When are you gonna get married?
Shane: I don’t know – why?
Alex: Cos I think when you do, mummy should wear a crown, and I will too.
Shane: Why? Are you gonna marry her?
Alex: No – you are.
Shane: Oh, right, yeah. But, if Emma and Alex are wearing crowns, what will I wear?
Alex: (thinks) Right, because, mummy will be the queen and I will be the king – so we have to wear crowns.
Shane: So I don’t get a crown?
Alex: (thinks) Yeah – you can have a crown too.
Shane: Good. But, if you’re the king and mummy’s the queen, what will I be?
Alex: (thinks) (laughs) You can be the princess!
Shane: (amused) Then I think you’d be talking about a civil partnership.
Shane: Doesn’t matter.
And there, you have something a little more sophisticated than others’ efforts towards social and family engineering.