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How Young is Too Young?

At an age when most students are learning about Mount Everest from a textbook in a classroom, 13-year-old Jordan Romero became the youngest person ever to climb it. Romero, who made the ascent from the Chinese side of Mount Everest (the Nepalese government deemed him too young to climb from their side), was accompanied by his paramedic dad, his dad's girlfriend and three sherpas. Romero also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, at age 9.

Also joining the ranks of "Youngest Person Ever To..." is Jessica Watson, 16, who docked in Sydney after sailing around the world solo. Watson spent 200 days at sea, with only herself and her 30-foot Ella's Pink Lady ship (oh, and this big wave). In the Telegraph she was quoted as saying: "As a little girl people don't think you're capable of these things, they don't realise what young people, 16-year-olds and girls are capable of [...] But it's amazing what you can do."

These kids have no doubt completed amazing feats, but now there's buzzing about how young is too young -- and if the parents were too lax in letting their kids go. I think that both Romero and Watson underwent enough training to fully comprehend what they were doing, but making a treacherous climb and facing over 200 days at sea alone are indeed heavy-duty mental and physical challenges.

Parents, what do you think? How young is too young?

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