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Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: Don't worry; be a happy parent

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014 4:34 p.m. MST

Still love climbing trees. On the set of "Have I Done Any Good?" Mormon Helping Hands music video with Alex Boye.

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert

I worry a lot.

My husband is always telling me, “Stop worrying.” But then I worry about worrying.

It’s very worrisome.

My biggest worry is probably the same as most parents out there: my children. What they’re eating? What they’re watching? How much they’re eating? How much they’re watching? Are they learning enough at home? Are they learning enough at school? Do they have friends? Do they feel loved?

And for crying out loud, are they ever going to stop picking their noses?

As I’ve sat and thought (and worried) about who and what is influencing my boys, I came across an interesting article from Forbes titled “7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors that Keep Children from Growing into Leaders.”

And, of course, I panicked because more than likely, I’m hindering them in some way. But as I read through the article, I found that even though I can most definitely improve on some behaviors, I have been well prepared to face the difficulties of modern parenting because of the love and instruction I received as a child.

According to Forbes contributor Kathy Caprino, one of the behaviors to watch out for is "rescu(ing) too quickly."

I remember playing outside for hours and hours as a child. I always think my kids will get bored if I don’t have every second of every day planned, but when I think back on my childhood, most of my “free time” was play time.

In elementary school, we had huge trees that grew up on the field behind our school. Every recess in early autumn and spring was spent up in those trees. We used to pretend we were falling and have one of the girls run and get a boy to “rescue” us. We would climb up to the highest branch, swing our legs over and hang over the edge.

That was probably pretty dangerous.

But we grew confident in our abilities and didn’t really think about falling. After all, even if we did, there was a very strong and capable fourth-grader waiting at the bottom with open arms.

I have often thought about my boys climbing trees and how nervous I’d be if I saw them do what I did. But I also think of the adventure and boost of self-confidence and assuredness that came from something as simple as climbing a tree.

I don’t think it’s allowed at my old school anymore. And while I understand the practical and legal reasons, I think it’s a bit of a shame. Is over protecting worse than a broken arm? Hmm.

Another hindering behavior, according to Caprino, is that "we rave too easily."

I heard this before I had kids and thought it was ridiculous. How is it possible to praise a child too much?

My boys have recently become little artists and are at their craft table drawing pictures all day long. A few days ago, both drew pictures and brought them to me. My oldest drew a picture of Thomas the Train rushing down the hill with wind in front of him, his wheels clattering down the tracks complete with grass growing underneath and the word “HELP” bubbling out of his smoke stack.

I was super impressed and hung the drawing on the fridge.

Then my 3-year-old brought me a picture of, well, what looked like a snake.

“Beckham!” I exclaimed. “That’s wonderful! That looks so good. What is it?”

He looked at me, then looked at the picture. “Um, it’s a river.”

“Wow! Look at that river!” I grabbed it and hung it up, too.

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