Kathryn Yeats

Kathryn Yeats (Wellington)

Independence Charms for Preschoolers / Encantos de la Independencia para niños en edad preescolar

to allow children to take responsibility for aspects of their life and allow parents relax and let their children do things for themselves.


Parents give the charm to children to help them overcome a specific challenge such as dressing themselves or making their lunch.  Parents can use the charms themselves to help them focus on letting their children do tasks without interference.

recyled wool blanket, thread, brass and enamel paint

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Learning to take care of age appropriate aspects of their lives is an important part of children’s development and builds their self confidence through actual achievement.  It’s very easy to become focused on taking care of a child and wanting to do everything for them, but this can interfere with them learning to do age appropriate tasks.  We’re very conscious of keeping our children safe and doing what’s best for them but sometimes we need to take a step back and realise that they need to be able to take some appropriate risks and try things out for themselves.

We place a lot of emphasis on succeeding and this puts a lot of pressure on children and sometimes this can lead to them not wanting to try new things for fear of failure.  A charm can create fun and excitement around a task which may seem difficult and help get children started.  Like magical devices of the past the charm absorbs some of the distress of failure, sharing the blame (it’s not my fault, must have been a faulty charm) hopefully helping them to try again.

Stories (somewhat or entirely fictional…)

My life is very busy and it’s very easy for me to be in a rush and just do things like dress my daughter because it’s quicker and easier if I do it myself, even when she wants to try doing things herself.

Using the charm has helped me to focus and take a deep breath, be patient and let her work out these things for herself.

If she gets frustrated, or doesn’t want to bother doing something she’s capable of doing, I give her a charm and tell her it’s  magic and it will help her to complete the task and she usually tries again and manages to do it.

Since using the charms with my son he’s been a lot more settled.  I don’t know whether if it’s because I end up spending more time with him showing him how to do things for himself, or because he feels empowered by achieving things, but the house is certainly more relaxed.

I use the charm to help my little one make his lunch and pack his bag for kindy.  We have to get up a little earlier in the morning to get everything done, but he loves making his lunch now that he knows it’s something he can do.  And I never get any complaints that he doesn’t like his lunch!

Sometimes I need my charm to focus on not getting stressed about being late.  I hate to be late for things but sometimes it just takes a little extra time, and really it doesn’t matter if he gets to kindy 15 mins or even half an hour late…

Mummy gave me a charm to help me learn new words.  I found them hard at first but the charm helped me to do writing and now I can write new words myself and I don’t need it any more.

My child is a perfectionist and she gets very upset when she tries something and it’s not perfect.  When she gets really frustrated upset I like to get out her charm and ask her to hold it and focus on it to help her concentrate.  This gives her a minute to calm down before she approaches the task again.

Charm use examples:

  • Making Lunches
  • Baking
  • Helping with cooking
  • Setting table
  • Packing bag
  • Getting Dressed
  • Tidying up
  • On the monkey bars
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Counting
  • Singing
  • Settling to sleep


Your turn / Su turno

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