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  • Writer's picturedrjennifer_tauks

If You Need Someone To Trust, Trust Yourself: How to Build Self Trust in Adolescents

Establishing self-trust is one of the most helpful ways we build our confidence, increase feelings of self-esteem, and maintain productivity in our lives. People with high levels of self-trust feel accepted, believe in their capabilities, and trust their decisions.

However, adolescent development can be a time when teens begin to experience feelings of self-doubt, become insecure, and question authority, friendships, and self-image. Creating self-trust and maintaining these skills are beneficial for healthy development.

Here are 3 Strategies for Building Self-Trust with Your Teen:

  • Model Confidence

  • Promote New Opportunities

  • Learning From Failure

#1 Modeling Confidence with Your Teen

Parents - Your teen will learn based on WHAT you do - NOT what you say!

Demonstrating how to face new situations, choosing language that promotes healthy body image, personal capabilities, and the importance of self-love, are all ways to model confidence to your teen.

As a result, your teen will internalize feelings of self-worth, begin to reframe poor feelings about self and engage in new situations.

#2 Promote New Opportunities

Shift your teen's mindset from "old" to "new."

Encouraging your teen to try a new activity is a great way to shift their mindset from, "I can't do this" to, "I can try this." Allowing your teen the opportunity to challenge themselves, try a new club, sport, or talent, helps your teen grow confidence.

#3 Learning From Failure

Our goal as parents, teachers, and caregivers is to help our children succeed. Helping our teens tolerate failure is an important skill to help to increase their self-trust.

Allow the failure to be a teaching moment. Let your teen describe their feelings and thoughts about the situation. Provide gentle feedback and suggestions on how to navigate the situation differently next time.

Without feelings of failure, our teens are prone to higher anxiety levels when faced with new challenges and may give up without trying new experiences.


Building self-trust in your teen takes time and patience. This is a life-long skill. Reassure your teen that they will begin to feel a stronger sense of confidence, have an easier time making decisions, and create self-love.

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