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  • Dr. Henry J. Svec

Mr. Prime Minister What Will You Tell Your Children?

After the pictures were released of our Prime Minister in black face and the world began to focus on him in a negative way, the Prime Minister said he would tell his children that everyone makes mistakes and that you have to own up to those and apologize. A good start but not all that he has to do.

In my book I talk a great deal about the sponge factor, how whatever parents or grandparents do around children is soaked up and becomes part of the child’s personality and behavior. Many children also look up to public figures, sports heroes, teachers or even some such as Mr. Trudeau as a model of what to aspire to become. Mr. Trudeau as an adult engaged in an activity that as early as the 1950’s was seen as racist and unacceptable. He also was dishonest about the number of times he had engaged in that behavior and initially minimized it as simply wearing makeup. He was a poor representation to his students of what an adult should be at the time he engaged in the black face. He was sending the message at that time that it was ok. Unfortunately his impressionable students would have soaked that up. He damaged his students. Recently he again demonstrated weak character in being dishonest about the number of times he had engaged in the behavior and provided little evidence of a logical consequence.

In our society and with parenting we often talk of logical consequences. If you do something wrong you have to own up to it and then fix it. Fixing it means the consequence should be equal to the severity of the mistake.

Forget politics for a minute-I did vote for him last time but never again-and let me share what I think would be a logical consequence for his behavior.

He would need to be expelled from his party and resign as Prime Minister. 4 years of banishment would send the message that in some cases, when you engage in certain behaviors the consequences are swift and severe. He would then need to provide restitution to those that he has harmed.

The message to his former students, children and the country would be that truly there is justice, there are more important things on the planet than politics or getting elected.

What should the Liberal Party do next? Appoint Independent Wilson-Raybould as the leader of the Liberal Party and have Mr. Trudeau work as her assistant. That my friends would be justice and provide a “sponge factor” impact on all children in this Country that when you make a mistake over and over again, the consequences are more severe. As always your comments are appreciated.

Dr. Henry J. Svec is the author of Don’t be a Wimp Raise a Strong Leader: Parenting Strategies from Conception to Late Adulthood.

He is also the author of The ADHD Fix and the online training tool both books available on

He is a Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice at

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