The Thankful Teen

Nov 11, 2015



Have you wondered if the “Thankful Teen” is an endangered species?  Do you worry that your teen is entitled?  How often do you find yourself stuck in the “Gimmie game” with your teen?


Here are some ideas of how to help teach your teen gratitude:

  • Encourage their attempts.  Even if it is not the way you would do it,  remember you get more of what you pay attention to.  Your teen may express gratitude with snarkiness or sarcasm.  If they do, you can still reinforce it.
  • Teens pay attention to everything – even if you don’t think they are.  Try modeling thankfulness and gratitude whenever there is an opportunity. Thank your spouse in front of your teen or thank your teen!
  • Ask them to express gratitude.  Don’t be afraid to be direct – ask questions!  Maybe during dinner or even on a car ride, ask your teen what they are thankful for or what they would miss if they did not have it any longer.
  • There is more to life than things!  Find opportunities to teach your teen that thanks is not just about getting things.  Take time to show each other appreciation, do something for someone else, do a service project.


While having teen is normally seen as a self-absorbed time, it is also a time when they are figuring out who they want to be.  Don't give up. You may need to modify family gratitude traditions or let your teen shape them, but don't abandon them completely.  They are likely more important to your teen than you know.

If you are struggling with your teen, please feel free to contact us 


Darcia DeSalvo

Darcia is a Partner with Embark Counseling Get in touch with her at

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