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If you have not heard of Mindscreen before let me start by telling you a little about it. There are essentially two elements to the Mindscreen programme, designed for ages 11 and above. One is free and the other has a cost involved. They are both definitely worth considering and here I will share with you a bit about both and why I would recommend them, based on my experiences so far.
Why worry about your child’s self-esteem?
There are so many things that are influenced by a child’s self-esteem, their friendships, their abilities in school and of course their mental health as a whole. A child who feels like they are rubbish, stupid or not worthy of attention and support will never be as happy as a child who has good self-esteem.
For that reason, I feel that, as a parent, doing what you can to help your child with their self-esteem is so important. We all know mental health services for children are stretched and unfortunately they struggle to see all children with severe mental health problems and eating disorders so what is deemed as “just self-esteem issues” will never be a priority, unfortunately.
My thoughts on self-esteem and Ben
As a mum, I do worry about Ben’s self-esteem, partly because he has some signs of low self-esteem but also because I myself have always struggled with this and I don’t want my son to struggle too if I can help it.
On a personal level, I believe that my low self-esteem has a lot to do with being in previous relationships where I experienced domestic abuse. I was never a confident child and always worry that Ben will be like this too.
Being Gaslit really made me feel worse about myself so I was interested to also see how my self-esteem could be improved. That said I will concentrate on telling you about how Mindscreen works for Ben.
What is the free Mindscreen self-esteem questionnaire?
As a parent, you are likely to know your child best. The free Mindscreen self-esteem questionnaire is easily done by you as a parent with 36 questions to establish if your child has difficulties with self-esteem, depression or anxiety.
For each question, you are asked things such as “Do they appear sensitive about other people’s opinions of them?”. With a choice of 5 answers, never, rarely, sometimes, frequently and always.
After answering all 36 questions you are given a description of how you perceive your child’s self-esteem. My results for Ben showed his self-esteem to be situational. The results also show recommendations for actions which of course include taking the full Mindscreen experience. Additionally, just by completing the questionnaire, I felt it got me thinking more about how Ben copes with situations and how he feels.
The Full Mindscreen Experience – What it involves
The first part of the family experience, we have been gifted for the purpose of this review, are further questionnaires, this time for the child to complete. I was a little unsure of how this would go as Ben has limited attention at times and is easily bored or distracted!
Ben was required to order statements in the order he feels they reflect him. The first section was behaviours with 24 sets of words to order from the one most like you to the one least like you. A couple of these such questions are above and below for you to see.
The next section, my motivators, was similar with 12 sets of 6 statements. Again these are really easy to understand and order. Due to Ben’s autism he needed a few terms explaining to him so I would recommend you to be with your child as they do this, or at least close by.
It is important though that the child does this element of the programme themselves and without thinking too much, just their first thoughts. Above is an image of one of the Mindscreen “My motivators” questions that I found interesting to see Ben’s response for. The questions are all in a positive way to help a child learn more about themself and also as a parent to see your child’s thoughts of themself.
My self-skills is the next section for your child to complete. With 12 statements such as I am confident, they rank each on how much it describes them with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest.
I appreciate this section sounds long but I can assure you it actually isn’t. The whole of the bits Ben needed to complete here took him around half an hour. He said he found it interesting to think about himself and he was interested to know what it would show about him.
Ben’s profile, what does the child’s profile show
I was actually really surprised about what the profile showed. My first thought was that it would be one of those things where it essentially lists all your responses to form the profile and nothing more. Don’t you hate those sorts of things with auto-populated lists after a questionnaire? It was nothing at all like this.
The profile was 15 pages long and full of information about Ben. Each of the sections I will describe for you below. Remember this is from the Full Mindscreen experience, not the free self-esteem questionnaire.
This is essentially a bullet-pointed list of statements such as “I prefer people who do not rush me to give an answer or challenge me about what I am doing or thinking”. This is not something Ben was specifically asked about but describes him so well!
The section also has a list of wants and needs, again not from the questionnaire specifically but ascertained from the answers given. One I felt was so like Ben it surprised me was “To be recognised in public for my achievements”. Ben loves certificates and telling people about certificates he has. He recently did a first aid course as part of his tutoring and he was so proud of that!
How I see myself
This section is a selection of tables/scales such as relaxed and restless. A list of personality characteristics in various places along the scale are listed and the ones Ben showed elements of were highlighted. I found this very interesting as each of the highlighted words or phrases I could see were most definitely Ben.
The non highlighted statements were also ones I agreed were not like Ben at all! At this point in reading the profile, I was really impressed, this really was something different and a true reflection of Ben based on his answers to those questions.
My interaction dislikes
This again is a list of statements of things Ben does not like. I was again shocked at how accurate this was. Even down to “I dislike it when other people talk too much and prevent me from speaking”! Anyone who knows Ben knows how true this really is!
Studying and careers
Children do not stay children forever so I was impressed to see the “My Study Choice Insights” and “My career choice insights”. Both show jobs and subjects that based on Ben’s personality he would be most suited for.
Ben says often he wants to be a blogger, like me! Or a professional gamer, a wish of many children his age I think! He has also suggested a teacher working in IT. His Career choice insights report shows Teachers in a few areas as well as jobs like graphic designer, journalist, website developer and IT support. A job I laughed at when it highlighted was a paramedic. Ben has often said he would love to do this but I have always thought whilst in some respects he would be suited to it, his fear of blood would probably hold him back somewhat!
How I wish we had this when I was at school! I remember doing a careers questionnaire and it suggested a window cleaner was a good job for me! I have no idea why as I do not have a head for heights and I am not really an outdoor person!
The Mindscreen programme also gives you a simple breakdown of Personal learning styles. For this, in a few simple sentences, it gives a good idea as to how to work with Ben. All things I completely agree with having done some home education with Ben and also observed him with tutors.
A learning improvement graph shows Ben’s self-awareness, confidence, belief and self-esteem in a simple visual tool showing which area you may choose to work on.
How to work with Mindscreen to improve self-esteem
The next step of the Mindscreen programme is to work on the child’s self-esteem. There are a number of lesson plans to help you. We are now working through these lesson plans so I will keep you updated with another article in the coming weeks to share those and how they are going.
The profile helpfully has a part in it where you can track your child’s progress so you can see where they are after the lessons/tasks so we will see how that changes soon!
If I am brave enough I will share some of what my experience and profile have been next time too!
Mindscreen cost and options
There is just one Mindscreen programme, the different costs and options are all about how many people you wish to work with on the programme. If you want to just do it for one child it is £59.95, two children are £89.95, a family with one child is £119.95 and for a family with two children, it is £139.95. There are even programmes for teachers who wish to work on the programme with a whole class.