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RuMR

how much climbing is too much...

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for a young kid? Minor argument with the wife over my kids overdoing it...

 

i figure if they are hounding me to do it, it can't hurt them...Thoughts??

 

info:

age 9 soon to be 10 (mid august)

and

age 7 1/2

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When they are no longer happy it is too much.

Both of my daughters are really good at soccer. They moved from the rec league to the Select league early on and didn't like it.

"All they care about is winning. I can't even talk to my friends." They are both back in the rec league by choice.

The younger one was a great gymnast and was practicing 2 hours a day three days a week at age 6. She loved it. Too bad her knee tendon didn't.

Many kids these days are too focused on one activity. That can be detrimental. But if they really love it, you can use it as leverage. "If you pull your grade up in math you can go to the tournament in X." Or my favorite, "Eat your broccolli or I'll give your climbing shoes to a homeless person."

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What i'm most worried about is tendon and finger damage at an early age...

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I would think pulling too hard would be a sure fire way of getting finger damage. Lots of easy stuff. I don't know about you but I rode my bike and ran around everyday for hours on end when I was that age. No damage other than cuts and scrapes :)

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If your kids are competing at nationals (and doing well!) seems reasonable to presume that they're climbing to the point where tendon damge/injury is a real probability (as in 1-in-10 chance or something). Just have to get your wife comfortable with that notion...

 

I guess the definitive answer is....it's too much when your wife says it's to much. Isn't that how reality works?

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Maybe this is going overboard- but here's what's out there in the medical literature:

 

Radiographic Adaptations to the Stress of High-Level Rock Climbing in Junior Athletes

A 5-Year Longitudinal Study of the German Junior National Team and a Group of Recreational Climbers from the American Journal of Sports medicine

 

In this study, researchers studied 19 competitve rock climbers with the mean age of 15 in 1999. The participants were followed for 5 years and then retested (hand x-rays, flexibility, body fat testing, etc)and compared to age and gender matched teens who did not climb. Only 10 climbers were tested in 2004 because some dropped out of the study. Conclusion: With the 5-year longitudinal evaluation of radiographs of hands of young top-level climbers (GJNT) and controls, we can demonstrate that intensive training and climbing leads to adaptive reactions such as cortical hypertrophy and broadened joint bases in the fingers. Nevertheless, osteoarthrotic changes are rare in young climbers. A longer follow-up is still necessary to evaluate whether these adaptive stress reactions may lead to an early onset of osteoarthritis.

 

 

Review of the physiological responses to rock climbing in young climbers British Journal of Sports Medicine

Purpose: To critically review climbing literature alongside relevant literature characterising physiological adaptations in young athletes. Evidence-based recommendations were sought to inform the training of young climbers. Method: Fifty from 200 climbing studies, and large-scale physiological studies highlighting specific common development growth variables in youngsters were selected for appropriateness to this review. Where reported, measured mean and standard deviation values are indicated. The term youngster in this review refers to those aged 7 to 17 years. Finding: Based on injury data, climbers aged <16 cannot participate in international bouldering competitions, and intensive finger strength training is not recommended. The majority of climbing foot injuries result from wearing climbing shoes unnaturally shaped or too small in size. Isometric and explosive strength improvements are strongly associated with the latter stages of sexual maturation and specific ontogenetic development. Improvement in motor abilities declines at ages closely associated with the second and third stages of sexual maturation. The final growth spurt in pubescence is associated with a greater incidence of physeal fractures. Climbing literature uses chronological age, rather than measures such as Tanner stages, to mark biological or pubertal maturation. It is not known whether selection, intensive training and/or disordered dietary habits can account for limited data on competitive young climbers who were shorter, lighter and with less body fat than athletic controls and normative data. Somatotyping that might identify common physical attributes in elite climbers of any age was incomplete. CONCLUSION: Accomplished adolescent climbers can now climb identical grades and compete against elite adult climbers aged up to and >40 years. As the implications of a youngster's high-intensity sports training requiring leanness can result in more significantly altered and delayed pubertal and skeletal development, metabolic and neuroendocrine aberrations, and trigger eating disorders, this should be sensitively and regularly monitored. Training should reflect efficacious exercises for a given gender and biological age.

 

hope this helps! Basically it sounds like climbing, if done in moderation, is fine.

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for a young kid? Minor argument with the wife over my kids overdoing it...

 

i figure if they are hounding me to do it, it can't hurt them...Thoughts??

 

info:

age 9 soon to be 10 (mid august)

and

age 7 1/2

 

rudy greetings from acephale! 1 a.m. here while our little one spazzes out (in a good way; god she has energy!).

 

i'm sure you've read about some of the elite youngsters, and how they were climbing at 4,6,8,10 years of age. they seem fine, even though they certainly pushed it way hard at tender ages. i don't think there are any guarantees how your kids'll respond to hard climbing, but to limit them because of a fear of what MIGHT happen seems perhaps a bit unfair? if they are really into it, and love it, and beg for it, then i say you gotta support them. barring injury and pain of course; then some intervention would be called for.

 

anyways, those are some of my thoughts (and i sure do have more!).

 

good luck with the wife, and have fun!

 

 

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to limit them because of a fear of what MIGHT happen seems perhaps a bit unfair? if they are really into it, and love it, and beg for it, then i say you gotta support them. barring injury and pain of course; then some intervention would be called for.

 

So are you supposed to wait until after a serious injury to intervene? That doesn't seem like the best strategy. Bug and Mythos have good points. As a climber yourself, at least you can help them adopt practices that may minimize the chance of finger and other injuries. It's encouraging that you're being mindful of these issues now. Good luck. Many will judge you no matter what path you choose. IMHO, the most important people to answer to will be your kids themselves years from now.

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So are you supposed to wait until after a serious injury to intervene?

 

:rolleyes: yes that's exactly what i'm saying....

 

 

so tell me about these "serious" injuries? you're not talking about accidents here i assume, and over-use injuries give warning, and i think in my post i mentioned paying attention to these warnings. pretty simple.

 

don't let your kids wear too tight shoes, don't let them climb if they are injured or in pain, etc etc. common sense stuff.

don't restrict their freedom though and adventure and curtail their passions.

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When they are no longer happy it is too much.

 

Exactly! Climbing never particularly made my kids happy, it was okay in small doses, and they loved being out and about, but it wasn't their obsession. My wife and I always figured it was more important that the kids have something good they were really interested in than what exactly that thing was. You just keep tossing opportunities at them until something sticks. For my son, it turned out to be competitively rowing traditional wooden longboats which led into crewing on tall ships. My daughter was into horses and now fiercely attached to playing the fiddle. The key is that the motivation comes from them, and for their own benefit, not just to please a parent.

 

Rudy, I'm sure you could find examples of other kids you and your wife know who don't have much of anything they love aside from TV and such. They'll provide a contrast that should help soothe your wife's anxiety.

 

Things change over time too, my son would definitely consider him a climber these days, and he's one of my favorite climbing partners ever.

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My policy is that if it hurts him, he likely won't want to do it, so as long as he's chomping at the bit, i see no issues...

 

All...thanks for confirming my ideas...

 

 

Mythosgirl..."CONCLUSION: Accomplished adolescent climbers can now climb identical grades and compete against elite adult climbers aged up to and >40 years." I had to laugh at this...there only real competition is the elite of the elite adults...they'll pretty much destroy anyone else...hahahahah

 

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My kids never really got into climbing either when they were young. They grew up hanging around me and Sue at cliffs all over the west coast.

 

We'd offer them a top rope from time to time, but they were usually too busy chasing lizards. There were no gyms then in our town, so that wasn't an option.

 

My son finally realized what a cool sport dad was into at about 19. He cut back on bmx (which dad couldn't-wouldn't do) and started seriously leading. He stopped for nursing school but now is working and is climbing quite a bit, often without me.

 

 

In Yosemite a few weeks ago I ran into Ron Kauk (one of my climbing heroes) at sunnyside jamcrack. We got to talking about our kids who climb. I said that it worried me when my son led dangerous routes with ledgefall potential.

 

His comment was that at least my son was headed toward something positive, rather than drugs or other dangerous and negative behaviors. He was learning a sport that was totally positive and life enhancing, as opposed to the many other directions a teenager can take.

 

Admittedly, I'd rather he was in golfing from a safety standpoint, but my mom tried to make me do that, and there's no way.

 

Give them love, and then give them wings.

 

my son, the RN on After Six, Yosemite.

clint_after6_2.jpg

 

my daughter on the Grack, Yosemite

lisa_grack07.jpg

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Do you remember when you were 10 or 19...or 30.

 

Did you want to be told, "You are doing too much X so stop it."?

 

 

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its more i'm worried about finger/joint damage than anything else...

 

Keep in mind how hard these kids are training...i just don't know what the long term effects on growing tissues are...i'd hate for this to actually curtail their climbing later...

 

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Do you remember when you were 10 or 19...or 30.

 

Did you want to be told, "You are doing too much X so stop it."?

 

Whether the kid likes it or not, its called "parenting". Preventing harm, whether your kids agree with you or not, is what you sign up for when you become a parent. This is neccessary because kids do not always have the knowledge or life experience to make good choices. Sounds like you would get along well with Kevbone. :)

 

Obviously, the older they get, there is more grey area to give them the responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of their choices and accept responsibility for the outcome. Again, its part of the parenting process to judge what they are ready for at each stage of their development.

 

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its more i'm worried about finger/joint damage than anything else...

 

Keep in mind how hard these kids are training...i just don't know what the long term effects on growing tissues are...i'd hate for this to actually curtail their climbing later...

 

hey rumr, check out the book, One Move Too Many, there's a full chapter on chronic injuries in young climbers.

 

growing up in Michigan, I didn't start climbing until I was 20. I climb with some monkeys that started at a young age and I tell you what these kids have some strong ass fingers. I wish I would have started earlier and been able to capitalize on growth spurts in the development of my climbing muscles and tendons.

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Rumr,

 

Just use common sense. The kid is going to want to climb all the time just like my daughter wants to Irish dance all the time. She was 9 spots away from qualifying for Worlds and it does seem to take 2-3 hours of practice a day to get to that level, but she's only 11. I worry about the long term effects so I do limit her practice time because I don't want her limited in the future because of bad feet and knees from all the hard shoe dancing. I send her to play outside and have her do other activities and sports because a kid that age doesn't need to specialize in one thing. Maybe it's more a mom thing since your wife is concerned about it, too. And I totally see where she's coming from.

 

As somebody posted above, you are the parent. Telling the kid to go ride his bike, or do something else, today instead of hitting the gym isn't such a bad thing at his age. Muscles, even young ones, need recovery time.

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I send her to play outside and have her do other activities and sports because a kid that age doesn't need to specialize in one thing.

 

i can't say i understand the comment about a "kid that age"; at what age does it become "appropriate" to "specialize in one thing."? 18? 16? 25? 37?

 

having been following the tour lately, i'm reminded of armstrong's early devotion to his chosen sport. should his parents have told him to stop and not spend so much time doing what he seemingly loved to do? should they have curtailed his passions if they were prone to worry? would that have been fair to him?

 

to be fair, i can't say i know the exact motivations of the kids in question here, but if their sike is pure, then piss off to all the nay sayers who would stand in the way of (any) kid's happiness.

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another interesting thing about parenting: i read once about how in a certain culture kids were seen as the return of the grandparents; you didn't tell the grandparents what to do. i don't think it meant the kids ran the household, but you certainly respected the kids' wishes, and didn't play the "i am the parent" card. pretty refreshing. not that many of you would understand, mind you.

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