Encouraging teen confidence at school

Group of school children singing in a school choir
High school 12-18 years

Many teenagers behave in a carefree manner, but often there can be a fragile self-esteem beneath that adolescent bravado.

The good news is, nurturing self-esteem can help your teen develop the confidence and resilience they need to succeed at school.

Nurture talents and strengths

Succeeding at an activity like sport, music or art can be great for a teen’s self-esteem and confidence. If they succeed at their chosen activity, there’s a good chance they’ll replicate that success at school and make friends too.

Genuine praise helps build self-esteem

When your teen is congratulated on successes and achievements, no matter how small, it can give their confidence a boost.

See errors as opportunities to learn

Reassure your teen that setbacks happen. Encourage them to see that, in every error, there is an opportunity to learn and to look positively towards learning their next achievement.

Teenagers are led by example

By acting with confidence and self-assurance, you are modelling behaviours that your teen may pick up. Improved confidence will help with things like public speaking and other interactions.


Friends are important esteem-builders. The more your teen brings their school friends home, the more you can get to know them too.

Open communication

If your teen feels comfortable raising any topic with you—no matter how embarrassing, upsetting or controversial it may be—they’ll be more confident expressing themselves at school.

Responsibility makes responsible teenagers

Having specific tasks to do and giving you a hand with big jobs can help them build a sense of responsibility and achievement.

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