Mom Lets 20-Month-Old Rock Climb to Internet's Collective Horror (VIDEO)

rock climbing toddlerMost kids are way more capable than adults give them credit for, but knowing that doesn’t do much to keep the helicopter parents at bay. That’s why it’s not at all surprising that a recent viral video featuring an athletic toddler who knows how to rock climb like a pro has all sorts of panties in a wad.


In the video, 20-month-old Ellie scales a seven-foot climbing wall to completion without a harness. According to Ellie's mom, Rachael Lee Farmer, the toddler has been climbing since she was 8 months old and does it about five days a week at their gym. She even has her own Facebook page, The Little Zen Monkey, where her mom posts videos and updates about her climbing. Farmer said she's been sharing updates for months and was surprised to see this latest video go viral:

Unfortunately, with viral attention often comes a backlash. Many expressed concern about Ellie being allowed to climb without protective equipment, with some even calling her mom crazy and irresponsible. Farmer responded to critics in a Facebook post, detailing that Ellie always climbs with a spotter -- even if they can’t be seen on the videos -- and always has soft, protective mats beneath her. She noted that Ellie is too small to safely wear protective ropes and harnesses, adding, "I am far from a novice climber myself, and I would never put my child in danger."

People are eager to tear down other parents when they see a kid doing something unique, but if anything, encouraging kids in their passions and pursuits should be viewed positively. If a child has an interest or a skill and we have the means to help them safely pursue it, why shouldn't we? There’s no reason to prohibit children from doing an activity or taking on a challenge just because it isn’t something "most kids" are doing.

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If we want our kids to be healthy, well-rounded people, the best thing we can do is be supportive of their efforts and supportive of the caring parents who help them pursue those endeavors. Coddling kids and holding them back from things that seem a little bit scary -- especially when those things are only scary because we don’t understand them -- isn't doing anyone any favors.

Farmer stresses the importance of keeping an open mind about her daughter's climbing and about all kids' activities, and she's right. You never know what your kids are capable of, and it's best not to limit them to only the things that make you feel comfortable. If you don't want your kid to try something, that's your prerogative. Restricting other parents' choices is not.

What do you think of the video?


About the Author: Ashley Austrew is a freelance writer who loves tacos, Target, and screen time. Her work has appeared on Mommyish, Scary Mommy, Modern Day Moms, and more. You can read more on her website or follow her on Twitter.

Image via WorldStories/YouTube


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