Mindscreen ad-post; all thoughts my own
I happen to think my kids are amazing.
To me, their talents shine out of them like flood lights – the 12-year-old’s zest for life, her tenacity and her incredible ability to forgive. The 10-year-old is thoughtful and empathetic and funny, and soaks up knowledge like a sponge.
But – as is often the way – it can be hard to see your own attributes as clearly as other people do.
Confidence is at its most brittle at that delicate age between child and adulthood, when your mind and body are maturing faster than you can keep up, which is why it’s so important to help adolescents boost their self esteem.
Sometimes it only takes a silly throwaway comment. For me, it was when I was around 11 and someone told me I had a big nose. From that day, I was fixated on the HUGE (it wasn’t) nose that was plastered on my face.
So when I was in my early 30’s I had a nose job. I LOVED it – finally, I was free of the monstrosity that (I thought) engulfed my face. Except most people didn’t even notice I’d had it done, which just goes to show how much I’d blown it up in my own mind.
But that’s exactly what insecurities do if you don’t face them head on – left untreated, they take root and grow like weeds.
I know that making mistakes and learning from them is an essential part of life, but I want my girls to be able to skip past some of the harder lessons I’ve learned and ensure they have a thicker amour of self belief to deflect the more unpleasant parts of life.
A few weeks ago I posted about embarking on the Mindscreen programme, which has been specifically designed to help adolescents boost their self esteem. The 12-year-old has been home learning while her school juggles Covid-related teacher shortages, so we’ve been using that time to work our way through the programme.
I thought I might get some resistance from her end, but when we sat down and started going through the exercises she actually really enjoyed answering the questions.
She already had a really clear idea about her talents, but saying them out loud seemed to really solidify them for her. I could almost see little lightbulbs going off over her head as she thought about how and where she could apply those skills, and which careers would fit them perfectly.
Afterwards, the Mindscreen team collated all her answers and we received a fascinating, in-depth profile, tailored exactly to her.
It was actually quite unnerving how spot on it was! It talked about her distinct character traits and and the personalities she likes to surround herself with, what motivates her, and what causes her to switch off.
It was helpful to her, as she could look at see at a glance what careers and industries would perfectly suit her passions.
It was hugely useful to me too, as it gave me valuable insight into her ‘Personalised Learning Style’; ie, what inspires her, how her brain processes information, and even the most effective way to communicate with her (we sometimes have very different ways of thinking, which can cause friction as we don’t always ‘get’ what the other person is saying).
Check back to follow the progress we make.
We were gifted access to the Mindscreen programme, which helps build confidence in pre-teens.
• image courtesy of Joshua Hoehne, Unsplash