Childrearing

The Ladies Of The View Think We Should Microchip Our Children — Like Pets

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microchipThe reopening, and subsequent closing, of the case of Etan Patz has brought missing children back into the national conversation. The iconic case, which spawned the entire “Missing Child Milk Carton” idea, made a brief resurgence in the news when police believed that they might have a new lead on the whereabouts of Patz’s remains.

Even though the digging of a New York City basement did not yield any answers for Patz’s family, it did generate a lot of conversation about child safety, what’s changed since 1979 and what we can do today to possibly prevent these types of tragedies.

Today, the women of The View have an idea on how to keep young kids safe and make sure that you know exactly where they are. Whoopi Goldberg suggested that in light of the horrible things that can happen, we should consider implanting microchips into children at birth, much like we do for our pets. And I was a little surprised to see that everyone on the show seemed to think it was a pretty logical idea.

Now, I have two beautiful black labs who have both received microchip implantations so that we could find them if they ever run away. I consider it a way of protecting the safety of my animals, because they are important parts of our family. I don’t consider this a violation of my dogs’ privacy rights because they’re animals and they can’t speak for themselves.

My daughter, on the other hand, has much more free will than my dogs do. Even at four, she has her own opinions and she expresses them quite forcefully. In fact, she is currently telling me that it is really pretty outside and she doesn’t want to go to dance class at all. She wants to go play in the park. Obviously, children have opinions about where they want to be and parents have to discuss the appropriateness of their choices with them. I have to talk to my daughter about the commitment she made to her peers in her class and the practice that’s needed for her upcoming recital. It’s a conversation to encourage her to learn responsibility. But once the talking is done, unless I’m prepared to drag her body kicking and screaming into that room, she’s going to decide if she walks in or not.

The reason that anyone is considering microchip implantation for their kids is just in case some other person with nefarious motives attempts to take our children’s freedom of choice away from them. As Lenore Skenazy over at Free-Range Kids has been expressing for years now, that’s an extremely unlikely occurrence. It is actually much safer for young children than it was even thirty years ago when permissive parenting was all the rage. We’re talking about implanting children with GPS trackers out of a fear that is largely over-exaggerated by our culture.

And even if our main goal from this idea is to keep kids safe from strangers, do we really believe that parents won’t use a tool like this to make sure that their kids are behaving? The ability to track your children’s every move will just be another tool for parents who want to teach responsibility through electronic monitoring.

I am not one for conspiracy theories and I very rarely complain about “Big Brother” and it’s attempts to keep me safe. But let me say, tracking human beings like animals is a little unnerving to me. Not to mention, wouldn’t that actually make it easier for a computer-savvy hacker to find your child? How would we know that the parents are the only people with access to the GPS locator? And not to give criminals too much credit, but someone somewhere has to have already said that if people are truly committed to doing a horrible thing, they’ll find a way around any barrier you put in front of them.

Etan Patz’s story is chilling and heart-breaking. Every child who is lost is a tragedy. But I don’t think that microchipping our children is an actual answer. Maybe it’s a crazy idea you throw out on a daytime talk show, but it isn’t a real solution and would probably lead to more problems than answers.

What do you think moms? Would you implant a tracking device in you child?

(Photo: Thinkstock)