Gratitude: Through the Eyes of a Teen

Guest Blogger, Dominique, age 14, (shown here, right, loading goods to take to a shelter for a Powerful Words Charity Drive and Left, with fellow Powerful Students, Alyssa and Brianna, doing their monthly Powerful Words project) has given the our Powerful Family her take on what gratitude means through the eyes of a teen. She has been part of the Powerful Words family since she was 9 years old and even helped to teach the curriculum to the younger children at her Powerful Words member school. Parents and educators are always looking for ways to teach gratitude to teens. Given the media attention on teens beating teens, both the much publicized Florida beating and the more recent one that has surfaced, and teens with internet games gone wild, perhaps we can all use a dose of happy, gratitude-filled words from one powerful student from Rockland, Massachusetts.

Gratitude

By: Dominique Delprete, age 14, Rockland, MA

Gratitude is something that can’t always be expressed in words. It can be expressed through words, or simple random acts of kindness.

Today, not many people think about gratitude. Some people don’t express gratitude at all. In fact, it’s been my experience that many teens (when asked what gratitude was), don’t even know what it means. They respond, “What’s gratitude?” or “What does that mean?” This is very telling. It shows that (1) people aren’t always really grateful for the little things in life, and (2) they don’t show their thanks most of the time.

So I set out to ask my friends about gratitude. They seem like thankful people. That’s why I’m friends with them! What did they think it was and how did they show it?

  • When polled, about two out of ten students said they send out thank you cards after their birthdays. Three high school students were recently asked what gratitude means to them, and each had different responses.
  • Kyle Barrett, 14, says that, “Gratitude is when you love and respect someone, and you go out of your way to make their life a little easier.”
  • Another teen, Danielle Bonito, also 14, commented on what gratitude means to her. “Gratitude is being thankful for the things you have and everything around you. I’m grateful for having a roof over my head, food on the table, a great family, and for a sister who doesn’t hate me.”
  • Last but not least, was Hieu Nguyen, 15, who took some time before responding. “Gratitude is being thankful for what you have and helping people with a small act of kindness.”

It’s the little things in life that people are grateful for. I believe that if everyone does one little act of kindness a day, you’ll be helping someone.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be saying “thank you” all the time, but expressing your thanks in other ways. Sometimes, all it takes to make someone’s day is a card that says “thank you” in it, with your name inside. Teens can collaborate with others when something generous is given to them, and hand-write a card and have everyone sign it. Gratitude can also be shown through simply volunteering time at a school function, or helping out the school.

A science class recently won a pizza party for winning a contest, and they hand-wrote a thank you card and everyone in the class signed it, and sent it to the class that sponsored the contest.

It just goes to show that everyone can show gratitude (even if they don’t exactly know what it means).

Through the teen’s eye, that’s what gratitude means to us.

Give Dom a “digg” for doing a good job on gratitude! Don’t we wish more teens could think like her? Great job, Dom!

Press on the digg icon to the right!

If any powerful students, children, or teens would like to submit an essay to be a “guest blogger” please send us an email through DrRobyn (at symbol) gmail dot com

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