Trusting Ourself

Trusting Ourself


Adolescence is a time when our children’s trust of them self may fluctuate in response to all the different transitions and experiences they are having to navigate. Just remember what a complex time adolescence is. Their bodies are changing rapidly as they go through puberty; they may be experiencing new feelings which may be unsettling. They may be leaving one school community and set of friendships, and having to navigate new challenges and make new friends, They may be being assessed in more formal ways as they move through the education system, perhaps ranking themselves against their peers in a new way. Our children may respond differently to these changes; sometimes might be a little more self doubting, other might be a little more self trusting. The questions is how can we help our children develop an appropriate, resilient trust of them self

For adolescents growing up in today’s world, it may be even harder to develop an appropriate trust of themselves. The messages they hear may present an image of what is unobtainable to most young people. The posts they read or see on social networking sights may suggest that everyone else is having a great time, when as parents, we may recognise that people  post what we want people to know of us. The power young people have to affect change and elicit attention through social media can inflate their understanding of what is possible. The internet has give this generation  more choices and accessibility to more resources, knowledge and experiences than any other generation before them, and when exposure outweighs maturity it is difficult to make wise choices.


How can we guide our children in making wise choices about when to trust them selves, and when to question themselves…

We can do this by modelling an appropriate trust of ourselves, but we can also signpost times when it is wise and healthy to trust our own qualities, skills, ideas and opinions, and when we should be a little more self questioning.


Times when it is healthy and wise to question our own qualities, skills, ideas and opinions


  • Listening to feedback from those who are trying to support us
  • Recognising you  have made an error or mistake and learning from it
  • Recognising something is too difficult, and asking for or accepting support
  • Accepting failure and asking what skills or qualities you need to develop to improve
  • Setting realistic aspirations and effortfully working towards them
  • Being self-reflective and looking for ways to continue developing
  • Trying to learn a new skill, and accepting it will be challenging
  • Asking for feedback about ideas before acting on them
  • Being willing to change your mind
  • Accepting rather than challenging a decision
  • Fitting in with what is going on around you, and learning to compromise
  • Noticing what is happening around you; how others are feeling, what others are thinking
  • Working collaboratively towards a shared goal


Times when it is healthy and wise to trust  our own qualities, skills, ideas and opinionstos-6

  • Dismissing comments from others which are intended to hurt
  • Respectfully challenging feedback
  • Standing apart from peers because what is happening is unkind or unwise
  • Challenging others’ opinions in a respectful way
  • Persevering with something rather than asking for help or giving up
  • Not backing down from a decision
  • Making a suggestion
  • Offering to help someone
  • Saying no to a request which is unreasonable or inappropriate
  • Developing our own interests or style
  • Working independently on a task
  • Going into a performance such as sports match or exam



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