This is a pretty interesting thread: rock climbers (who most non-climbers see as fooliish risk takers) talking about what risks are appropriate for children. I think a lot of the public would be surprised at some of the views expressed. I have a couple of thoughts.
I agree that many kids today are more dependent on (or controlled by) their parents and other adults than when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. I do not think that is a good thing. Learning to make good, independent judgemnts requires some independence.
As I consider the risks to which kids can be exposed (traffic accidents, drugs, biking or skate boarding without a helmet, climbing trees, swimming in ponds, crossing busy streets, etc.) I think climbing a 5.6 in the gunks (even High E) between two competent, concerned adults on a nice fall day is pretty low risk. Of course I don't know that there were 2 competent concerned adult on Team High E, or that the child was the middle climber. But, as neither I nor either of my kids was involved, that is really none of my business.
When considering something like this for my kids, I always thought the psycological issues were very important. No one should be up on the rock (or in a race car, or in any other risky activity) unless he or she really, really wants to be there. I would not have wanted either of my daughters to climb unless the motivation was hers and the situation such that psycological supporot was readily avalailable. I see no reason to push a child of mine into a sporting situation where she or he might be terrified.
Finally, one of the things I liked about climbing at the Gunks in the 60s and 70s, and am glad is still the case today, is that no one tried to regulate what or how I climbed or whether I was suitably skilled or mature to climb. [Thanks to the Vulgarians for beating off the Appies.] The rocks are just there and I have the freedom to climb them (albeit now for a modest fee). I hope we all keep this freedom in mind and don't get too judgmental about the ascent of High E that started this thread.