Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Review of the Mindscreen Experience for Children Part 2

A laptop with a plant in front of it, with the title overlaid
In my first review of the Mindscreen Experience Toolkit, I covered my first impressions of the site and my thoughts on the early stages of the Mindscreen process. Today, I'm going to cover the first four sessions, including the lesson plans and organisation of the program. All opinions are my own and based on our experience. The lessons are not long, or difficult, but my son is 14 and generally allergic to anything that resembles learning or education, so he is not the most willing of subjects, but there is lots of guidance to help with keeping children motivated in the parent guides and I've included some tips to get your unwilling participants participating fully in the activities.  

Sponsored by Mindscreen 

The first thing I noticed about the Mindscreen Experience, is that it's very comprehensive. It's set out in a very organised way, but there is an element of work and commitment involved in the process. I feel this is all completely necessary because you are effectively trying to change your child's whole outlook on life, in a way, and that isn't going to happen overnight. Particularly with older children, you could be undoing a lot of negative thought processes and ideas which will take time and application. It also requires an element of sensitivity, because you are dealing with the delicate area of self-esteem, and the lesson plans guide you through how to approach the subjects involved appropriately for maximum positive effect. You are also supported with booklets explaining the concepts that you will be exploring in more detail. There are some useful tips that I picked up along the way, which I hope will help you get the most out of the program for your children. 

Firstly, there is a lot of printing involved in this program and it is not something you can really cut corners on. It is not easy to keep the attention of a child for very long, they tend to have woefully short attention spans and, whilst the program allows for this by making the activities short and fast-moving, the more time you spend faffing about trying to find your place and organising yourself the quicker they will lose interest, so it's best not to rely on having the information on the computer, as the scrolling takes ages, make sure you have enough printer ink and paper before you do anything else. One thing I did note about the print outs was that they were tastefully designed with older children in mind, avoiding the garish, colourful cartoonish look which may come across as patronising to a slightly older demographic. 

A flatlay of a selection of A4 handouts from the Mindscreen Experience program, with a pen and some green post its

Second, don't underestimate the usefulness of completing your own profile as well as your child's. This isn't quite so important if you are working with more than one young person, although I still think it helps the child see that the process is worthwhile if they observe an adult taking part and learning from the process too. There are times during the activities where it really helps to have another example to compare to, so if you are working with one child it helps to have your own profile handy for comparison. For some sections, I enlisted the help of another family member, just to make up the numbers with certain aspects. For example, in the Easy Confidence session, you have to compare your posture to another person and it was much easier to have a third person in the room taking part than to try to do the postures myself whilst reading the lesson notes. 

The third point I worked out fairly early on, is that it pays to be organised. There is a lesson plan summary, covering the whole course, which gives you the lowdown on everything that you will be working through with your child. This is helpful because it lets you know in advance if there are any additional resources needed, or if there's an element that your child might need longer to do or have an issue with. Each session has a parent's guide, as well as a learning diary, and this tells you everything you need to know to prepare for the lesson, in terms of equipment and also how to deliver the session. It talks you through what you are aiming to demonstrate to your child and how to get them to see the point of the session. Make sure you read this first as it pays to have everything ready, particularly if you have a child who is not good at waiting for anything. 

A bed with white bedding and an assortment of light coloured cushions next to a bright window with white voile drapes

The sessions themselves are comprised of short activities that can be attempted by individuals or small groups. You are guided through how to teach the objective and what the outcome is that you are aiming for. So far, we have completed four of the nine sessions that make up the program and have learned a lot about Awareness, Belief, Confidence and Skills. As I previously mentioned, my son is not the most willing of learners, so anything that is learning-based will always be a struggle. However, the mix of short activities and small writing tasks means that the session is constantly moving forward so there is little opportunity to get bogged down in the process. I try to make the sessions as un-school-like as possible, by having treats to eat and a comfortable environment, with cushions and clipboards, rather than a desk. One of the suggestions in the lesson prep sections is to have upbeat music playing and I've found this really helpful in increasing productivity too.  Join us soon for part 3, the final assessment of the course, how we got on and what my son thought of the whole experience! 

Pinterest Image: A child from above using a computer with the Mindscreen logo on the screen

Cushion Photo by Christina Deravedisian on Unsplash

Mindscreen Booklets Photo by Lucy D of The Parent Game All Rights Reserved



  1. Mental health is so important, even more so these days with our tweens and teens using social media. Thanks for your review of your experience so far.

  2. I've never heard of Mindsceen toolkit, that is amazing actually! I would love to check it out. Great review.

  3. I'll definitely be checking this out for Jack when he's slightly older. I could definitely see this helping him.

  4. This sounds really good. I love the look of the print outs, and like you said, look suitable for older children as well.

  5. Mental health is so important and needs to be talked about I like the look of the print of the book.


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