Instilling gratitude in teens isn’t always as easy as many parents think. With lots of physical and mental changes happening, trying to keep up with a busy social life and stay on top of a bigger workload at school, gratitude can sometimes be the last thing on a teens mind. However, being able to appreciate just how lucky they are to be able to live such an abundant life is sure to help teens feel happier and stay healthier in the long run. Gratitude is also a powerful way of thinking and the sooner your teens start embracing it, the sooner they’ll be able to reap the benefits. Here’s some ways you can start teaching your teen about the importance of gratitude.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude is good for us, especially for teenagers! In fact, a study conducted at the University of California found those that express gratitude regularly can increase happiness levels by around 25% and generally live more satisfied lives.
What Are The Benefits For Teens Practicing Gratitude?
Studies reveal that children who practice grateful thinking have improved manners and a much more positive attitude towards school and family. There are lots of other benefits too, especially when it comes to mental and physical health. This includes:
- Higher levels of happiness and optimism
- Improved sleep
- Improved resilience
- Less stress and an improved ability to cope with stress
- Fewer physical problems
- More self esteem
- Reduced depression
- Less aggression
Simple Ways To Teach Your Teen About Gratitude
Teaching your teens the importance of practicing gratitude is simple, it just means building up some new habits and being more mindful yourself.
Encourage Them To Be Grateful Everyday
It’s important that gratitude is practiced every day, especially if you want it to be a normal way of thinking for your teenager. Each day, encourage them to write down or tell you something they’re grateful for and why. It’s a great idea if you do this too, and you could try making this reflection a regular part of your daily routine as a family over dinner or on the school run. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for your family to connect and give everyone a chance to express their appreciation for each other.
Say ‘No’ Regularly
It’s completely normal to want to spoil your teens and give them everything they want. This also may make life easier, however, showering them with too much stuff often does more harm than good. It can mean gifts lose their value and they never seem to be satisfied or grateful with what they’ve got. Regularly saying ‘no’ to their requests or not giving them what they want will do them the world of good - even if they don’t take it well at the time! In fact, it should make teenagers start to appreciate what they do have and stop taking things for granted.
Encourage Giving As A Family
Encouraging teens to give generously to their friends, family and those less fortunate than themselves is an excellent way to teach them ways they can practice being grateful. You can do this by getting them involved in some local volunteering, asking them to donate their unwanted items or think of a way to raise money for a charity of their choice. Through learning to give to people that might not have a lot, it helps to show teenagers just how fortunate they really are. In fact, the act of giving is usually so rewarding that it leaves a powerful impression, inspiring teens to practice gratitude regularly without being prompted.