37 Gratitude Prompts for Teens to Build the Thankfulness Habit

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Being a teenager often involves going through a period of selfishness, when we only think about ourselves. It’s sad, but true. In fact, I remember thinking it was the end of the world if I missed my favorite TV show or could not go clothes shopping one weekend.

Since high school is the main ecosystem of teen life, it can be an emotionally stressful time for a budding youngster going through raging hormones. It is especially bad if the teen is not popular.

So, if you are the parent of a teen, remember that you were in their shoes at one time. Furthermore, it may be a good idea to emphasize that your teen should be grateful for what they have.

Everyone should practice gratitude to some extent. It can be a way to keep yourself from getting caught up in negative thoughts. Gratitude can help us see things from a better perspective and have a true grasp of the meaning of life.

The earlier we embrace gratitude, the better we can cope with life's ups and downs. 

What is Gratitude? 

If you feel like life is more about what you are lacking, or what you do not have, then practicing gratitude is a great way to changes views and look at your life from a better perspective. 

Gratitude is the action of being thankful for and appreciating what you already have in your life. It is the action of not focusing on what you do not have. Being grateful for what you already have in your life will lead to a better life.

When you regularly practice gratitude, you’re less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and stress. You also may have more energy, be more optimistic, and have healthier relationships.

Journaling is an excellent way to express gratitude and keep things in perspective. And journal prompts are the sparks to light the fire.

What Are Journal Prompts?

Journal prompts are ideas that are used to spark your creativity and help you reflect on your life. Journaling is a great tool for everyone, teens included.

It is a great way to get whatever is on your mind out of your head and onto paper. You can do it however you like. You can write down whatever comes to mind or you can use a journal prompt. 

A journal prompt is a suggestion that you use to inspire your journaling. It can be about your life, your feelings, your thoughts, your dreams, or anything else.

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to get into the habit of expressing gratitude. A gratitude journal is a notebook where you write down things that you are grateful for.

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Journal prompts are ideas that are used to spark your creativity and help you reflect on your life.

It can be as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for every day. Who knows, you may end up writing a whole book about the power of thankfulness in your life.

As a parent or teacher, you can work to cultivate gratitude in the hearts of teens. Suggesting gratitude journaling prompts for teens is a great start.

This type of writing will allow them to write about what they are thankful for in their lives. Such gratitude and reflection will help them turn into well-adjusted adults. 

Below, I’m going to offer a list of prompts to help your teen start a gratitude habit.

37 Writing Prompts to Promote Gratitude in Teens

While you can create your own, here are 37 prompts I have found to be extremely useful in getting my students started – especially when they are in one of their moods and can’t find the good or positives in their life.

1. What is something you usually take for granted? 

2. What is one thing in your life that has changed for the better? 

3. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

4. What is the best thing about having siblings? 

5. What did you learn from your mistakes? 

6. What is one thing you’re proud of achieving? 

7. What is good about having an education? 

8. What’s something that makes you happy? 

9. What’s something that makes you laugh? 

10. What’s one thing you’re excited about? 

11. What is the best part of being a teenager? 

12. What’s something you’re feeling grateful for right now? 

13. What is the best thing about having family? 

14. What’s one thing you’d like to start being grateful for in your life? 

15. What’s one part of your life you’ve improved on in the last year? 

16. What’s the best thing about having friends? 

17. What was the best thing about your childhood?

18. What book made you feel grateful for something in your life and why?

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Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to get into the habit of expressing gratitude.

19. What would you miss about your home if you had to move?

20. What is the best thing about living in your neighborhood?

21. What TV show or movie makes you grateful for your life?

22. What song expresses joy or gratefulness in a way you can relate to?

23. What food are you the most grateful for?

24. What person in your life has been a role model and how?

25. What natural resource would change your life the most if it went away or became less available?

26. What friend has been there for you the most?

27. What is the nicest thing someone said to you recently?

28. What is your favorite memory of a deceased relative?

29. What is the nicest thing someone has done for you?

30. What do you love the most about your parents?

31. What bad experience did you learn the most from?

32. What person has influenced you the most?

33. What person alive or deceased do you admire the most and why?

34. What person do you admire and why?

35. What activity has helped you grow the most as a person?

36. What electronic device are you most grateful for and how does it make life easier?

37. What person would miss you the most if you could no longer be around them? Why would they miss you?

Final Thoughts on Gratitude Prompts for Teens to Promote Gratefulness

When it comes to gratitude, there is no better time than now to practice it. It can be extremely difficult to cultivate a grateful heart, especially when you are a teenager… but it is worth making the time and effort when young, so that you have a better outlook on things as you enter adulthood.

As a parent, teacher or caregiver, your teen may not always want to talk to you and express their feelings. This is often a typical part of adolescence, but you can still get your teen to open up in different ways.

Luckily, parents can prompt teens to write about gratitude. This is an easy way to build the habit of being grateful without the teen feeling like they are under pressure.

Keep these writing prompts in mind the next time you want to encourage your teen to be grateful. By writing about gratitude, teens can change their perspective and see their lives from a better place.

Read more about the benefits of giving thanks in the Happier Human article The Science of Gratitude: More Benefits Than Expected.

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