Use a gratitude prompt to start a conversation with your teen!
According to Grateful, researchers at Harvard Medical School report, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
However, Brianna Steinhilber writes that while practicing gratitude seems simple enough, it can be difficult for some, “especially if you’re a person who has a hard time expressing emotions, or you’re going through a rough patch that makes channeling gratitude difficult.”
Therefore, to begin, use a gratitude prompt. Gratitude prompts can tap into your creativity and help you recognize the things you’re grateful to have in your life. Also, try writing them down by keeping a gratitude notebook or use them at the dinner table or in the car to talk with your child!
Try these gratitude prompts:
- List five small ways that you can share your gratitude today.
- Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why.
- What skills or abilities are you thankful to have? (You communicate well, you’re a good cook, you have an uncanny ability to dominate in Fantasy Football. Hey, it’s your journal).
- What is there about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for? (This is a tough one, but you have learned something or grown from the hardship—how?)
- How is where you are in life today different than a year ago–and what positive changes are you thankful for?
- What activities and hobbies would you miss if you were unable to do them?
- List five body parts that you’re grateful for and why. (Those long legs help you reach items on the top shelf … don’t forget the little things.)
- What about the city you live in are you grateful for?
- What are you taking for granted about your day to day that you can be thankful for? (Can’t think of any? Your alarm clock, your coffee machine, the paperboy who delivered your newspaper, your friendly neighbor who always says good morning … and that’s before you even leave the house.)
- List 5 people in your life who are hard to get along with—and write down at least one quality for each that you are grateful for.
- What materialistic items are you most grateful for?
- Write about the music you’re thankful to be able to listen to and why. (We couldn’t make it five minutes on the treadmill without our beats.)
- Who has done something this week to help you or make your life easier and how can you thank them?
- What foods or meals are you most thankful for? (Bacon, egg and cheese on Monday morning, we’re looking at you.)
- What elements of nature are you grateful for and why? (The beach, a starry sky or one speckled with fluffy clouds, the sunset…)
- What part of your morning routine are you most thankful for? (A big stretch before you get out of bed, that warm cup of coffee, a cuddle session with your pet…)
- Write a letter to someone who has positively impacted your life, however big or small.
- What is something you’re grateful to have learned this week?
- When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably—relive the memory.
- What aspects of your work environment are you thankful for? (Supportive co-workers, flexible hours, great snacks in the kitchen…)
Don’t have time to write? Check out one of these apps instead:
- Grateful: A Gratitude Journal
- My Gratitude Journal
- HappyFeed: Graditude Journal
- Gratitude Journal 365
- Gratitude Journal: The Life-changing App
Find more gratitude prompts or conversation starters to use with your teen here.
Answer one of the prompts above with your child, and if you feel comfortable, share the conversation below in the Comments section! Have your own prompt that you use to talk with your teen? Let us know on the PARENT Discussion Board!