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Easy Ways to Help Your Teen Practice Gratitude

Camp Kupugani is our multicultural overnight summer camp where campers from across the country and the world come together to learn from one another and work together.  We’re less than two hours from the bustling cities of Chicago and Madison (two progressive, Midwest towns).

Camp Kupugani is thankful for our families and friends who helped us navigate towards our 13th summer fostering world changers.  Part of that is facilitating ways to practice gratitude. We provide our 14- and 15-year-olds chances to give back by visiting nursing home residents and helping out on a local farm. If your teen isn’t seeming as grateful as s/he could be, a recent Washington Post article elucidates some prompts on how to help them maximize that. You can check out the full piece here and/or our bulleted takes on it below.

“Teens cannot be forced to open up. If we try to compel them, they simply won’t say anything. However, by remembering a few things, you can coax them out and connect with them.”

  • Keep it simple.
    • Don’t put too much weight into a single conversation.
    • Longer conversations don’t always equate to depth.
  • Don’t try and force openness.
    • Try and connect on a regular basis.
    • Talk about the easy things often and the hard topics will flow from those.
  • Tell them you want to ask some questions.
    • Remove yourself from any of the answers to reduce pressure.
    • Ask questions that help you understand their point of view.
      • Express genuine interest.
        • Put the phone down
        • Give them undivided time (no chores)
        • Look them in the eyes
        • Respond when needed
  • Provide them with first-hand experiences in giving to other less fortunate. (Read our blog on helping our children be less materialistic here.)
    • Find a task/group that meets your child’s interests.
      • No one activity will work for every kid.
    • Join in on the activity with your child.
  • Model gratitude in your daily lives.
    • Use “thank you” liberally and specifically.

Below are some questions suggested by the article to ask your child to help them think about gratitude without a lecture. This is not an exhaustive list, so if you can think of something ask away!

  • 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?

Article Source:

Camp Kupugani is one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids

Camp Kupugani has been named one of the 50 Most Amazing Summer Camps for Kids.

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Kupugani touches on all the core values and enrichment that we hope to instill in our [child]. My husband and I absolutely love Camp Kupugani. Our [child] gained immensely from camp.

Lisa G.

Everyone…was just so, so personable, kind, and the kind of person I want
my [child] looking up to and spending time with.

Laura V.

[My daughter’s] face lights up when she speaks about camp, it’s a priceless experience.

Kenya P.

I have never come in contact with such a wonderful group of people at a camp before. Everyone did an outstanding job, the camp was so organized, it was unbelievable.

Joe M.

She absolutely loves the camp, the staff, and all the friends she makes there. I consider Kupugani to be a big influence in helping her grow and expand her mind each summer.

Luci A.


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