Expressing gratitude is something we’ve talked about here. I continue to read articles and watched this video about its positive effects on our brains. Science shows us that it really does reduce anxiety and helps us have a more positive outlook on life. Something we know that all tweens and teens desperately need.
How do you get kids talking about gratitude especially since it’s the season for it? Here’s a list of 25 questions from a Washington Post article on getting your tweens and teens to talk about being grateful outside of the obvious question, “what are you grateful for?”
The author does lay some ground rules for the conversation:
- Tell them you just want to hear what they think. No judgment or criticism. Teens are super sensitive to that!
- Tell them you are not an option for any of the answers to take the pressure off.
- Avoid sounding like you are interrogating them as you ask follow up questions.
- Overall, just make the conversation “simple, short and not emotionally complicated” since teens live in the world of complex emotional reactions and relationships.
Here are the questions:
- Who is the most important person in your life that I know?
- Who is the most important person in your life that I don't know?
- Tell me why your favorite person is your favorite person.
- What person has had the biggest influence on you thus far?
- What person trusts you the most?
- What person do you trust the most?
- What person knows you the very best?
- Of all the people who know you well, who do you think is closest to liking you as you are today — giving you unconditional love?
- What peer do you admire most? Why?
- What adult in your life do you admire most? Why?
- Have you ever told those people how important they are to you? Do you think they have any idea?
- What activity has had the biggest influence on you so far?
- If we moved tomorrow whom would you miss most (make it clear you are not moving!)?
- If we moved tomorrow what activity would you miss most?
- Phone aside, what appliance /modern invention would you miss the most if we lost electricity?
- What’s your favorite song? Can you help me understand what you like about?
- What’s your favorite movie of all time? What do you like about it?
- What show do you like to binge watch? Why?
- What book have you read that you liked most?
- What brings you the most joy in life?
- What experience are you really glad you had?
- What experience are you glad is over?
- What experience are you really glad you had that you are glad is over?
- What is something you didn’t like but you are glad happened?
- If you had to list five things, what would you be most grateful for?
25 Prompts to Get Teens Talking About Gratitude, The Washington Post
An Experiment in Gratitude: The Science of Happiness – a great video on how expressing gratitude can really increase your happiness.