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If you’re looking for ways to help your teen cultivate an attitude of gratitude, look no further. From simple things like keeping a gratitude journal to more involved activities like volunteering together, there are plenty of ways to get started.
Here are 11 gratitude activities for teens that are sure to make a difference.
Gratitude Activities for Teens
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Every day, have them write 3 things they’re thankful for. It can be anything from big things like good grades or making the varsity team to small things like having a friend to sit with at lunch.
Over time, they’ll see just how much they have to be grateful for, no matter what life throws their way.
2. Give Back Together
Another great way to teach your teen about gratitude is to involve them in giving back to the community. Whether it’s volunteering at a local food bank or helping at a shelter for animals, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.
Your teen will not only learn the importance of helping others, but they’ll also see first-hand how much of an impact they can make in the world. And that’s something they can be truly grateful for.
3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness Together
This is a great gratitude activity for teens. One of the best things about practicing random acts of kindness is that it’s contagious. The more you do it, the more likely you are to spread that positive energy and make the world a little brighter.
Encourage your teen to practice random acts of kindness on their own and make it a point to do something kind together every day as well.
Whether it’s holding the door open for someone or picking up trash on your walk around the block, these small gestures can go a long way in making someone’s day and teaching your teen the power of gratitude.
4. Write Thank-You Notes
Saying “thank you” is always important, but sometimes it’s even more meaningful to put it in writing. If your teen is struggling to think of things they’re grateful for, encourage them to write thank-you notes to the people in their life who have made a difference.
It could be a teacher who went above and beyond, a friend who was there for them during a tough time, or even a family member who has always been supportive, whoever it is, your teen will make their day with a heartfelt thank-you note.
5. Share What You’re Thankful For at Dinner
This is one of many gratitude activities for adults as well as teens. One of the best ways to foster an attitude of gratitude is to make it part of your daily routine. So why not incorporate it into dinnertime?
Every night at dinner, go around the table and have everyone share one thing they’re thankful for that day. Not only will this help your teen focus on the positive aspects of their day, but it will also give you all a chance to connect with each other and bond as a family.
6. Give Compliments Freely
Giving compliments is another great way to practice gratitude. And the best part is, it costs nothing!
Encourage your teen to look for things they can compliment people on, whether it’s a friend’s new haircut or a stranger’s smile. They’ll be surprised at just how good it feels to make someone else feel good and how quickly that positivity will come back around to them.
7. Meditate on Gratitude Together
If your teen is looking for a more introspective way to practice gratitude, encourage them to meditate on it. Meditation can help clear the mind and allow space for reflection and appreciation.
There are plenty of guided meditation apps or websites available for free, so find one that resonates with you both and set aside some time each day to sit in silence together and simply focus on all the things they are grateful for. It’s a great way to start or end the day on a positive note.
8. Take a Gratitude Walk
Walking is a great way to get some exercise and clear your head, so why not combine it with a gratitude practice?
Go for a walk with your teen and have them point out all the things they see that they’re thankful for. It could be the flowers blooming in the park or the sun shining down on you both.
9. Make a Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar is a great way for your teen to visualize all the things they have to be thankful for. Every time something good happens or they think of something to be grateful for, ask them to write it down on a slip of paper and add it to the jar.
At the end of each month, they can empty the jar and read through all the things they collected and remember just how much you have to be grateful for no matter what else is going on.
10. Give Gifts From The Heart
One of the best gratitude activities for teens is asking them to give a gift from the heart. And there’s no better occasion for this than during the holiday season.
Encourage your teen to think about what the people in their lives would really appreciate, whether it’s a homemade card or cookies or even just a heartfelt note expressing how much they mean to them.
Taking the time to put thought into their gifts will not only make the recipient feel loved and appreciated, but it will also help your teen feel more grateful for what they have in their own life.
11. Reflect on Blessings Before Bedtime
Ending each day on a grateful note is a great way to help ensure that your teen goes to bed with positive thoughts running through their head.
Encourage them to take a few minutes before bed to reflect on 3 things they’re thankful for that day. It can be anything from big things like getting an ‘A’ on their math test to small things like having a friend to sit with at lunch or seeing a rainbow on their walk home from school.
Focusing on the positive aspects of their day will help your teen drift off to sleep with a sense of peace and gratitude.
Teaching your teen to practice gratitude is one of the best gifts you can give them. Not only will it help them focus on the positive aspects of their life, but it will also allow them to see just how much they have to be thankful for, no matter what else is going on.
So get started today with one of these 11 gratitude activities for teens and watch as your teen’s attitude transforms for the better.