[Ad] If you follow my blog then you’ll know that child health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything I believe in, with parents’ coming a close second. I see so much of myself in my eldest daughter, and it often worries me because I don’t want her to have the same hang ups and anxieties I have always lived with, yet I already see signs of them. How to improve my child’s wellbeing is always on my mind, so when I was invited to review the Mindscreen Experience, I was really keen.
Note: the Mindscreen Experience is designed for children with a reading age of 11+.
With this in mind, I was aware from the start that Pixie wouldn’t be able to go through the whole process. Nevertheless I was fascinated by the concept and hoped to gain some insight into her current self-esteem, as well as some tools I may be able to employ to help her.
Importance of Socialising Children
2020 has made children’s mental health a bigger priority than ever before. With the best will in the world, things are different and we’re all having to adapt accordingly. It would be naïve not to consider the impact this is having.
Socialising children is such an important part of their development, influencing their confidence and self-esteem – and of course it’s just not possible in the ways we’re used to right now.
How to Improve My Child’s Wellbeing?
With this is mind, keeping tabs on our children’s wellbeing is critical, because low self-esteem is a factor in depression and anxiety, and when we identify a problem then we’re in a position to work towards a solution.
This is where Mindscreen comes in – both in terms of appraising your child’s confidence and self-esteem, and providing a plan to help facilitate positive changes.
What is Mindscreen?
Mindscreen is an online resource for parents and their children, created by a team including a psychologist and a GP, so you can trust that the package is built upon proven strategies. It can also be used by teachers in the classroom. It offers a free self-esteem check which can be completed by the parent on behalf of the child and then, should you feel it beneficial, there are packages you can purchase to get full access to all resources.
You can purchase a variety of packages depending on the number of profiles you require, but whichever you choose you will receive full access to all available resources. These include:
Personalised Learning Style (PLS)
Your child will take a test (takes around 15 minutes to complete), results of which demonstrate their preferred learning style. I found this really fascinating – when I took the test for myself it was highly accurate!
Learning Improvement Graph (LIG)
This is a spider graph that gives you a visual indication of the areas in which they may need support. This can be taken three times to help you see any improvements they make.
Perhaps the most enlightening and useful resource is each personal profile, which is created when the initial online section is completed, and fine-tuned with every completed step. It’s broken down into a combination of the following statements and graphs:
- About Me
- My Wants and Needs
- How I See Myself
- My Interaction Likes
- My Interaction Dislikes
- The Natural and Adapted Me
- My Success Tips
- My Skills, Study, and Career Choice Insights
I won’t pretend that it was absolutely bang on for me – but it was very, very close. And there are aspects of my personality that are probably contradictory, so I can see how that could happen! But overall? I was blown away by the insight gleaned, simply from analysing my answers to a set of (clearly very clever) questions. It seemed pretty accurate for my nephews too.
It was slightly unnerving in the way it picked up on things I don’t typically share/acknowledge about myself, but I know are ultimately true.
This razor sharp zoning in means there’s effectively nowhere to hide: every tiny doubt is identified; it’s very exposing.
With all this in mind, the tool is very powerful. It occurred to me that depending upon the results, it may need to be presented to your child carefully – sensitively. Mindscreen has the potential to hold a magnifying glass up to intensely private parts of oneself, and that might feel uncomfortable.
It also has the potential to be extremely valuable in helping to facilitate increased self-esteem, confidence, and resilience.
Teaching and Learning Resources
- Lesson Plans
There are a total of eight separate lessons, based around the following topics:
- Study choice
- Career choice
Each one is ’participatory’ – we learn better and retain more information this way, as opposed to passive learning such as reading or listening to lectures. They aim to demonstrate important lessons and help your child to start to understand themselves, and how their thoughts and feelings can drive their behaviours, shape the kinds of people they are, and even influence their achievements.
All of this is aligns completely with my own attitudes and ideologies around raising children and what they need in order to thrive, so I found having an actual guide with practical steps to follow really fascinating. I can’t wait till Pixie is old enough that I can use some of what I’m learning with her.
These are to help your child’s understanding in each of the following areas, by exploring what they are, why they’re important, and how they can be further developed.
- Self-Awareness Guide
- Self-Confidence Guide
- Self-Esteem Guide
To help your child understand their profile, created based upon the answers they give in the LIG questions.
What’s super clever is that it’s set up so that the child completes the various sections independently, and the parent/s can then view their answers and discuss them.
Mindscreen Review – Our Experience
Unfortunately Pixie is still too young to use Mindscreen, so I borrowed my nephews for this review! Since they don’t live nearby (and the small matter of a global pandemic) I wasn’t in a position to work through the lesson plans with them, however they completed each of the online sections very quickly.
To be honest I really wasn’t anticipating that they’d be so keen to continue with the course, and I think that speaks volumes. I suppose we all have an interest in understanding ourselves better.
As and when I’m able to spend time with them again I will plan to go through some of the practical activities with them so they can benefit from the full Mindscreen Experience, because I’m confident they would.
My only minor criticism of the process is the fact I wasn’t entirely clear on when the invitations for each step of the online course should be sent, in conjunction to the practical lesson plans. It may be that I missed that information if it was tucked away within a document, but I’d have found a very accessible timeline for completion of tasks quite helpful.
It’s also quite easy to miss the critical instructions about the existence of the lesson plans! I knew they were somewhere thanks to my conversations with Gav, the founder of Mindscreen – and the ‘Click to learn more >>‘ button shown below, does tell you exactly where to find them – if you click it!
A very clear CTA regarding the lesson plans, somewhere – perhaps within that suggested timeline I mention, would fix this perfectly.
This is information I’ll be feeding back to Gav as he was keen to have my genuine opinion of the course and website – so don’t be surprised if you see this addressed at some stage soon! (If I become aware of any changes I’ll pop an update here to let you know. Update December 2020: Gav has confirmed these changes are now live!)
Otherwise I really can’t fault the programme. My nephews enjoyed what they’ve done so far, and I think it’s a genuinely excellent tool for identifying and bridging any cracks in self-confidence and self-esteem, along with several other vital qualities.
Child Health and Wellbeing
We all want the best for our children. Sometimes we can see that they’re struggling in some way, yet it can be difficult to pinpoint what is holding them back, and even if we’re able to identify a specific concern, we can feel completely out of our depth with how to navigate and manage the issue.
This is why I am wholeheartedly on board with the Mindscreen Experience.
Through insightful questions your child is able to communicate their needs, and they can do so independently. The benefit of obtaining the information this way is that it removes the associated pressures or anxieties of a deep discussion which can place huge demands on a sensitive child – and may ultimately fail to uncover any root issues.
I’ve been greatly impressed with the uncomplicated yet effective setup of Mindscreen – it may be a simple process, but it’s an exceptionally well-crafted concept.