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People address me with many titles: Attorney General, General, Marty, and so on, but the best title by far is “Dad.” Nothing makes me stand up just a little bit taller and straighter than having one of my kids calling me dad.

I believe that as a father, one of the most important things to teach your kids is how to make smart decisions. We can’t control every aspect of their lives and as they grow up they want to make decisions on their own. As they chose who to hang out with and what they do and  where they go, it’s a dad’s job to arm them with the knowledge and confidence to make good choices. For me, that means instilling a solid set of values and standards for my son and daughter to live by. Being sure to set my kids up to be in the best possible position for success and happiness is a huge responsibility for me as a dad

This year, on Father’s Day, celebrate your actions as a role model. Be the dad that can talk to his kids about the tough issues like underage drinking. Whether they want to admit it or not, your kids are listening! We know that all of our kids could be faced with the decision to drink underage or not, and by talking with them early and often we hope that they will make the right decision, to say no to underage drinking. We have discussed the negative effects alcohol can have, whether it is on the brain, on the ability to do well in school, in sports or just in their overall development.

Having strong and independent kids is one of the gifts a father can receive. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s program, Ask, Listen, Learn, equips parents with the tools needed to teach kids how to be successful when faced with tough decisions. Ask, Listen, Learn provides tools to parents to help start the sometimes awkward conversation about underage drinking.  Visit asklistenlearn.com to learn tips on how to start the conversation with your kids, download helpful resources and read statistics that support the need to talk with your kids early and often about the risks and consequences of underage drinking and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

This Father’s Day, visit asklistenlearn.com with your kids and make sure they’re prepared to say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking.

Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy your day with your kids!