Your teens’ attitudes determine how they see themselves and how they respond to the world. The internal resources that your teen gains from looking at the world through a positive lens will be vastly different than if your teen see the world through a negative lens.
That being the case, activities that teach teenagers a positive attitude should be part of their daily routines. Here are five activities that your teen can do to improve his/ her attitude.
1. What Are You Proud Of Today?
Use the time around the dinner table to encourage your kids to share something positive about their day. According to Rediscovered Families, this counts as a very effective way to foster a positive attitude in your child.
Here are some things that you might encourage your teen to talk about.
- Receiving a good grade on a hard test
- Volunteering at a nursing home, a school, or some other nonprofit
- Finishing a passion project
- Getting an after school job and saving money from it
- Overcoming a difficult situation
The world can be a rough place, even for your kids. Kids deal with the stresses of school, afterschool jobs, difficult relationships (including bullying), and other stresses. This end-of-the-day ritual helps to put the negatives into perspective.
In particular, you’ll want to encourage your teens to talk about events pertaining to the last bullet point. Learning to overcome adversity counts as one of the most critical life skills your teens can develop.
This is also a place where you can offer them guidance if they’re still experiencing a difficult situation. Knowing that you have their back also helps them have a positive attitude as well.
2. Try Affirmations
If your teen has an activity that’s particularly difficult to master, you might suggest that he/ she try affirmations.
According to an article on Success.com, saying positive affirmations can help you reprogram your subconscious beliefs.
Most habits take at least 21 days to stick. Ask your teen to try positive affirmations for at least 21 days. He/ she can do them for a few minutes in both the morning and in the evening to develop a new way of thinking.
Over time, your teen’s feelings about a situation will changes. This will, in turn, spur new action and new successes.
3. Keeping a Journal
It turns out that putting pen to paper can change a person’s attitude. If your teen likes to write, keeping a journal might just be the boost he/ she needs to improve his/ her attitude.
A Life Hack article points out that writing your thoughts down not only helps a person catalog his/ her life, it also assists him/ her in processing emotions.
If your teen is struggling with his/ her emotions, that can affect his/ her attitude. Being able to externalize bad feelings is one of the biggest benefits your teen can gain from writing in a journal. Bad feelings can lead to a bad attitude.
Journal-writing has another benefit: It encourages your teen to put his/ her goals down on paper. Accomplishing goals builds self-esteem, which in turn helps to build a positive mental attitude.
Your kids’ diaries can also be a place where they can take an attitude inventory. Sometimes, a person needs time to process things before he/ she really understands how he/ she feels.
Here are some possible questions your teens can ask themselves if they’re trying to do an attitude inventory in their journal:
- Who do they know who has a good attitude? A bad one? How can your teen tell the difference?
- What are the positives that have come out of a negative situation? What skills did your teen learn?
- What does your teen focus on each day? If it’s negative, what can he/ she focus on instead?
4. Add Exercise
Your teen can boost his/ her mental attitude by doing some regular exercise. Exercising releases feel-good endorphins that will change his/ her outlook.
If your child doesn’t have a regular PE class, encourage him/ her to take up a sport like walking or jogging, to go to yoga class with you, or to study the martial arts.
Aside from the positive endorphins that result from exercising regularly, your teen will eventually develop a body-positive image. If he/ she needs to lose weight, this can also be a side benefit from exercising regularly.
5. A Gratitude Jar
At the turn of the new year, suggest that your teen create a gratitude jar. These jars are fun to make and have a not-so-hidden benefit to boot: They encourage your kid/s to look on the bright side each day.
First, ask your teen to decorate a jar. Next, suggest that your teen come up with a hundred positive affirmations, quotes, or even little pictures. These will go on separate slips of paper.
Once your teen has written down the quotes or the affirmations, ask him/ her to put them in the jar. Your teen can pull one from the jar each day to bright his/ her mood and to help develop a positive outlook.
To keep the jar “fresh,” give your teen some extra paper and encourage him/ her to continue to add to the jar throughout the year. This ensures that there’s always a new supply of positive thoughts just waiting to be experienced.
Keeping a positive attitude requires work each day. If you want your teen to look on the bright side, you’ll have to encourage him/ her to do activities that build self-esteem and a positive outlook.
The five activities in this post only represent a starting point. Many worthy activities exist that will help your teen change his/ her outlook from bad to good.
Finally, the changes in attitude that stick are the ones that are supported by the whole family. If you’d like for your teen to have a positive outlook, then be sure to also keep your own attitude on the sunny side. That can make all the difference in the end.