On days when life tries your teen’s patience, he could find hope and wisdom in the words of The Serenity Prayer by U.S. theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” A gift reminding your teen to apply the prayer can ease difficult circumstances and inspire your teen to change what can be changed.
Alcoholics Anonymous’ website indicates that “The Serenity Prayer” is one of three prayers used by group. Not everyone using the prayer is a12-step program member, but many books that use the prayer refer to the 12 steps. If your teen is a member of a 12-step program, an appropriate Serenity Prayer literary gift can include “Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery,” by Richard Fowler and Robert Hemfelt; “Serenity-NKJV: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery,” from Thomas Nelson Publishers; or “One Step at a Time: Daily Devotions for People in Twelve-Step Recovery,” by Cynthia S. Humbert, et. al. If your teen isn’t involved in a 12-step program, options include “The Serenity Prayer Book,” by William V. Pietsch; “A Walk with the Serenity Prayer,” by the Minirth-Meier Clinic staff; or “A Serenity Journal: Fifty-Two Weeks of Prayer and Gratitude,” by Rita Esposito Watson.
For a female teenager, jewoptions include a necklace with the prayer engraved on a charm or a necklace or bracelet that says, “Serenity” to remind your teen to apply the prayer principles. A bracelet can also work for a male teenagers, although it would probably be heavier. A male teen could also receive a serenity money clip, pocket coin or a watch with the prayer engraved on the back. A T-shirt, sweatshirt, apron or jacket with the prayer is appropriate for either gender.
You can find art based on the Serenity Prayer. A pastoral picture with the prayer on the frame or incorporated into the picture encourages your teen to take a breath and relax when stressed by things that can’t be changed or move forward to changing what can be altered. A quilt or afghan with the prayer is a useful gift to a teen to curl up with, at home or as the teen prepares for college. If you are crafty, you can needlepoint, embroider or cross stitch the prayer on canvas and frame it for the teen.
Inexpensive gifts your teen can enjoy with a Serenity Prayer include coffee cups, small desk plaques and picture frames with the prayer inscribed. A small sign that says, “serenity” could hang on the rearview mirror or visor of the car to remind your teen that she can’t change driving conditions -- only her attitude. If your teen spends lots of time in the car and summer heat is an issue, you can purchase or make a sun screen inscribed with the prayer.