How-To develop Positive Thinking in your teenager

Develop Positive Thinking in your teenager: I wonder if you can still remember your teenage days when everything was new to you: new friends, new college, and new lifestyle. How did you feel back then?

Maybe you were excited because something good will happen to your life but at the same time you had also felt nervous.

It was a nerve wrecking experience to have a sudden change in your life.

Like for example at your college entrance exam, the first thing that challenges you the most is the negativity that comes into your mind.

You could have been thinking that you could fail the exam and you won’t not be admitted to the university.

You thought and thought about it till you one day found out you passed and got admitted to your dream university.

Do you remember what you did?  You showed up for the entrance exam and answered the questionnaire.

You completely ignored the negative idea and started pursuing. The next thing you knew you had passed the entrance examination.

The same anxieties you had, your teen age kids are experiencing now.

That is why it is important to develop positive thinking in your teenager. Because it will help your teenager accomplish their goal easier.

But how-to develop positive thinking in your teenager, you might be wondering. Which is what we are going to address in this article.

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A positive mindset is important to achieve goals in life. It has helped successful people start and make their dream become a reality.

Being positive helps people overcome difficult situations. It makes ideas into realities.

It is completely normal for a teenager to be negative, because they are teenagers. They are still adjusting to changes that are happening in their life.

But as parents there are few things that we must do to help, and influence develop positive thinking in our teenagers. So that we and they can reap the benefits of it later.

Difference between positive thinking and positive attitude

As per Collins dictionary: Positive thinking: a technique for changing your attitude and fostering optimism.

As per Wikipedia: Positive mental attitude is a philosophy that says that if you have optimistic outlook in every situation. Then you attract positive changes and increase achievement.

So, the way I understand it is, you use positive thinking techniques to foster optimism and this optimism fuels positive mental attitude.

You cannot talk about positive mental attitude without knowing about Hope. Hope is very crucial in your teen’s life. Read all about in our article Hope.

The benefits of positive mindset

Positive thinking has a lot of benefits. And when you know them you will know why you need to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

It can help anyone overcome challenges in life. The idea of positive thinking, is seeing the bright side of things, also known as being optimistic.

What can your teenager get from having a positive mindset?

Having positive mindset can help your teenager achieve his/her goal a lot easier. It can build your teenager to be tough and resilient even if the challenges or task is difficult.

Positive thinking will be a driving force for your teenager to start pursuing their goals.

Positivism attracts a lot of things such as positive people, opportunities, and chances.

Your teenager can get positive and cheerful friends and classmates who can help him/her in different academic tasks. The more positive your teenager is, the more likely people will like him/her.

Positivity can give the following benefits to your teenager:

  • Feeling relaxed. Helps you enjoy life.
  • Better physical and mental well being
  • Increases immunity
  • Lowers stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Better opportunities.
  • Improved social circle. Good friends
  • Better grades
  • Chances to pursue goals
  • Strength to make through tough situations
  • Explore solutions to the problem
  • Better life and better coping skills.
  • Build resilience.
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence

So, that is just some of the positive benefits of being positive. Now you would agree that it is important to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

To know more about teen related challenges, you can browse through our exhaustive list of articles. Follow the link -> Parenting challenges faced while raising teenagers.

How to identify negative thoughts and self-talk.

As parents when you know ways to identify negative thoughts and self-talk, you will be better equipped to spot it when your teenager is indulging in it.

Also, you can teach them about this so that they refrain from negative self-talk, or identify negative thoughts when they arise and distract themselves from it.

Tip 1: If your mind is coming up with only the negatives of the situation and not positives.

Tip 2: Looking at the faults of things rather than the good or the compliments. E.g. When you complement your teen on a good cleaning done. Your teen immediately comes up with a spot they have missed or thing they did not do rather than accepting your complement.

Tip 3: When your teen is always talking about how they cannot do something. How they are inadequate. Or why they believe it cannot be done.

Tip 4: Your teen blames themselves for everything bad that happens. E.g. Your teen thinks that you did not go out to a restaurant because you think they are fat.

Tip 5: When your teen keeps making excuses citing experience. And how they failed or got burnt by it. When your teen tries to convince you and in turn convince themselves that history will repeat if they try again.

Tip 6: When you spot your teen anticipating the worst of any situation or event. A flat tire can lead your teen to believe that their luck for the day is bad and bad things are going to happen to them that day.

Tip 7: When they have extreme views of things. E.g. Your teen thinks that they have done a bad job when you have just said good and not very good.

You might be interested to read our articles…

  1. How-To HELP & EASE stress in your teenager
  2. SPOT & DEAL with Teenage Anxiety Issues
  3. How-To Help & Deal with a teenager mood swings

15 Ways to make positive thinking a habit

Below are 15 things that will help your teen make positive thinking a habit. This is crucial to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

When we as parents train and teach them to make it a habit. We can rest assured that they will carry these traits all though their life.

And no matter what blows life gives, this habit of positive thinking will pull them out.

  • Motivate them to surround themselves with people who have a positive outlook towards life.
  • Insist that they use positive words while talking.
  • Design coping strategies to handle negative thoughts. (Walk, drinking glass of water, Having a bath etc…)
  • Teach them to spend time alone (introspect). Check oneself.
  • Stay away from gossip and toxic people
  • Help them think about how to face a challenge than give excuses and run away.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle (Food, exercise, and Sleep)
  • Use social media for a cause. Let it not use you.
  • Help them set goals or milestones. And encourage them to work towards achieving it.
  • Hold them fully responsible for their actions.
  • Make changes in your attitude when needed. Reinvent yourself.
  • Encourage them to look out for humor in every situation.
  • Read everyday material that will inspire and encourage them.
  • Teach them to be thankful for every situation (good or bad). You never know how things will turn out.
  • Teach them the power of prayer and to have faith.

You might be interested to read our articles…

  1. How to influence your teenager’s mental well-being
  2. How to Help Your Teen Make a Career Choice
  3. How-to help your teen to choose right friends

My Experience and a story…

The last two points listed above are my favorites. I always teach my kids to thank God no matter what the situation is. 

There are many times they resist it especially when the events appear to be bad. I have personally had problems but, I thank God for the troubles.

But I have made them do it for so long that they believe that it somehow will turn out to be good. And guess what, in time it always does. What a good way to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

Below is a story I tell them. I found that it helped to convince them better. They have heard it so many times from me that I do not even have to tell them the story. I just say “Maybe… maybe not… We will see…”. And they get the message.

Story Time.

(Disclosure: Too lazy to type… So copied it from

There is a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away, and their neighbours exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbours shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky, or unlucky, fortunate, or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story

Hope this story helps you develop positive thinking in your teenager as it did mine.

Story time also helps in increasing family bonding, It improves self-esteem and self-confidence. If you are interested to know more about these topics. You can read the following articles.

  1. How to build positive family relationship with your teen
  2. How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager
  3. How to develop self-confidence in your teenager

Positive thinking exercise to develop positive thinking in your teenager

Here are a few positive thinking exercises that your teenager can do to develop their positive mental attitude.

Positive statement or positive self-talk

Positive statement is an example of a positive thinking exercise for a teenager. It can help teenagers to develop a healthy positive mindset in the long run.

 Positive statement is a simple method that can be done almost anytime.

Positive statement is like an affirmation. Your teenager must try to state some positive thoughts each day. Like, stating that “I can pass the exam” or “I can get into the try out”.

It will make your teenager think that they can do it instead of having doubts.

Saying something positive especially when your teenager is about to pursue a challenging task is important.

Positive statement is a proven positive thinking exercise that your teenager can do each day. This will sure develop positive thinking in your teenager in time.

Practice breathing exercise

Your teenager’s nonverbal action is important for a positive thinking exercise. It can be used not only for delivering essential messages but also for exercising a positive thinking routine.

If, your teenager is about to do some difficult task such as joining a competition or a tournament, let them try the breathing exercise before performing.

First, let your teenager relax. Let your teen close their eyes for a minute. Then, let them breathe in (Inhale) for a while, ideally let them hold their breath for five seconds. And then, let them breath out (exhale) to release the air that they have been holding.

This exercise is an effective method to reduce anxiety or overthinking, and the lesser the anxiety your teenager has the more she/he can think positively.

This can help them to have a clear and positive mindset. Your teenager will be relaxed, and they can now perform to the best of their ability.

This also helps in anger management and helps in reducing risk taking behavior and aggression. Read about these in detail from the links below.

  1. How to effectively deal with Teenager Anger
  2. How to control Risk taking behaviour in your teenager
  3. Deal with aggression and violence in teens

Gratitude Journal Entries

Gratitude is an example of exhibiting positive emotions. Some other positive emotions are happiness, excitement, love, and care.

These positive emotions are important in developing a positive mindset.

Have your teen maintain a gratitude journal and ask them to write down things they are grateful for.

You as a parent, must start this practice inside your home, so that your teenagers and family can adapt it.

Do it yourself and motivate your teen to do it. Make this exercise as a habit. Do it on a day to day basis.

It is something I can vouch for and sure helps to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

Complement others

This is something I have practiced at home. When my kids land up fighting and have hurtful things to say. I stop them in their tracks and ask them to tell 5 good things about the other person.

9 out of 10 times it turns the mood around when they complement each other. And there is peace and positivity in the house again.

Let your teenager compliment their siblings, pet or even parents. Expressing gratitude is appreciating the best out of simple things in life.

This will help you to develop positive thinking in your teenager and have a positive thinking mindset. This mindset will help them to enjoy life more.

Mirror Technique

Mirror technique is another positive thinking exercise for a teenager. This can help your teenager overcome fear and anxiety especially if they are about to do something difficult.

The mirror technique is an effective way to be positive. It will only take a few minutes. It has helped me with my second son.

To do this, let your teenager face the mirror. Instruct him/her to state something positive about them.

Let them talk on the mirror about something positive. Let them convince themself that they are good, capable, and talented individual by saying it.

Let your teenager state “I am capable and talented,” or “I am articulate, and I can pass this interview”. Any positive statement is an example of positive thinking exercise and it will help your teenager overcome their own problems.

This is a very important technique to hold on to,to combat issues of suicidal tendencies and eating disorder. Know more from the links below

  1. How-To SPOT & HELP Eating disorder in your teenager
  2. How-to find out suicidal tendency in your teen?

Start your Day with positive note

This is one of my favorite way. I hope it helps you to develop positive thinking in your teenager.

I have seen my neighbor have a white board where he scribbles a positive or an inspiring quote every day. He places the board on his gate. So, passers by can see it.

My kids and I have always stopped to read it during our morning walk. And that has always been a good way to start the day.

In fact, many a times I find it really astounding how the quote becomes very relevant to the events of that day. I land up quoting the quote once again to my kids.

Another important practice is, I play motivational, positive, or happy songs in the morning for all in the family to hear. This tends to relax all of us. And each of us go about doing our work silently. So, there is quietness and happy song in the background.  


Positive thinking is something important as it will stay with your kid throughout their life even after they are not teens anymore. The more you develop positive thinking in your teenager, the more likely they can overcome challenges in life.

Positive exercises are supplementary activities that your teenager can do whenever they are challenged by the situations.

Your task as a parent is to help your teenager develop a mindset of positivity.

You can let your teenager do some of the simple yet effective positive thinking exercises to help them boost their positivity.

You can integrate such positive acts in a day to day basis. This, coupled with all your love and affection will knock off the darkest thoughts and fears your teenager will have. Soon, you will have one very happy and confident adult.

God Bless!!

If this article has been of help to you. Show love by sharing with your friends and loved ones.

Let us know how you went about to develop positive thinking in your teenager. Leave your comments below.

Thabitha David

Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend. She is a MBA Graduate specialized in Human Resources. She is a very proud mother of 3 Kids. (2 Teens & 1 Tween). She is a keen Observer of Life and is a blogger. She writes these articles based on her experience (Success and Failures). She does this with hope to help and ease the pain of at-least one parent as they face the challenges of parenting. Read more from the About Us Page

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