3 things I'll tell my kids about the Rob Ford video scandal

Toronto mayor Rob Ford is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, as the infamous “Rob Ford crack video” (we don’t know what he was smoking) reappeared on the media horizon.

I want my kids to be engaged in civic life, right here in Toronto. But it’s increasingly hard to find a political role model for my sons. Here’s what I’d like them to take from this whole scandal:

1. Choose your friends wisely, because you’ll be lumped in with them
There’s a lot we don’t know about Rob Ford or his driver, Alexander Lisi, who has been charged with extortion, or about the men supposedly in this video with Mayor Ford, or any of the rest of it. But that does not stop people from judging Ford on his willingness to associate with people who seem to be involved in the drug trade.

2. Don’t do things at parties you don’t want on video
When I was a teenager, we did not carry cameras around with us. Which is good, because I was trying to learn the moonwalk. But my kids will have to think about these things, as well as manage their social media profiles. (Check out our piece on social media and the family.)

3. The truth still has value
A recent article on ethical parenting has me thinking a lot about the seemingly small choices we make every day with our kids. I caught myself telling a lie to get off the phone in front of my 8-year-old, and then realized the last thing I want is for him to start lying to me for convenience. Part of this story is that Rob Ford seems to have pointed the finger at journalists who were accurately reporting what they had seen. I hope my kids will learn to tell the truth, even when it’s inconvenient or embarrassing.

What are you talking about at your dinner table tonight?

Photo: Courtesy West Annex News via Flickr Commons