Parenting police, calm down — a doctor said there was nothing wrong with the way Julia Mancuso played with her toddler in the snow
Parenting has always already been hard enough. But doing it in the digital age, when an army of parenting police can come at you for any innocent moment posted to social media? It’s honestly kind of the worst. And we can’t believe how intensely the mob has come out to try to cancel Olympic skier Julia Mancuso after she posted a video of herself playing with her toddler in some freshly fallen snow.
The original video was posted on Nov. 30, and showed Mancuso playfully tossing her 17-month-old son, Sonny, into a deep, fluffy snowbank. Sonny is laughing the entire time, and the video shows Mancuso immediately pulling him out of the snow. What could be wrong with that, you might wonder. Well, according to the Internet Parenting Police™, a whole heck of a lot.
While many of the comments posted to Mancuso’s video were supportive, from people sharing stories of doing similar things with their parents when they were toddlers and kids, there were also many people who were horrified that Mancuso would play with her son in this way.
Some pointed out that he could somehow damage his eyes while playing this game. Others “helpfully” added that his clearly joyful laugh could be triggered by anxiety, not fun at playing in the snow with his mom.
Others went even further, calling Mancuso irresponsible for playing with Sonny that way.
Others called the move “disturbing.”
Some even went so far as to say Mancuso’s actions with her toddler were child abuse. Are we seriously throwing that term around so lightly?
All the backlash prompted Mancuso to post a second video, explaining how she knew the snowbank was safe because she and Sonny had been watching the snow fall on their patio all day. She also showed video of how they practiced before she gave the toddler any kind of big toss into the snow.
But since she’s literally being accused of abusing her toddler, better safe than sorry, right? That’s why Today consulted doctors, showing them the video and asking about whether Sonny is in any danger.
“While I can’t see what’s under that snow, I cannot see anything in this video that makes me concerned for the baby’s safety,” Dr. David Hill said. “He appears well bundled for the temperature, and the parents appear attentive to the environment and the baby’s wellbeing.”
Pediatrician in your Pocket author Dr. Jen Trachtenberg agreed.
“The parents seem to know how deep (the snow) is and that there is nothing dangerous buried underneath,” she said. “In addition, baby looks happy and engaged with mom.”
Now can that put this debate to rest? We hope this winter holds many more fun, snowy days for Mancuso and Sonny.