Family is a support system that can help us get through many stages of our lives. It takes great understanding and communication to work together through different challenges. Sometimes it is hard for us to talk to our families or have them support us in the ways we want them to. But of course, your family is there to help you in any ways they can. Here are some tips on communicating with your family members in positive ways:

1. Be open-minded and understanding of others. Although everyone in your family may share different opinions, it doesn’t mean they’re against you. Often time, talking things out will help people come to terms of understanding your situation. Try to avoid being narrow minded because it won’t solve anything.

2. Share your life with them. Being part of a family means you share and make memories with them. You don’t share every aspect of your life with them because everyone has separate experiences in life. By sharing little daily things (over dinner, a movie, etc.) with them can help you reconnect with them at the end of the day.

3. You have a problem? Address it now; sooner is better than later. If you’re struggling with something, then don’t let it drag on. By the time you realize what you could have done by asking your family for help, it may be too late. Your family will help you if they are able to, but don’t take them for granted.

4. Always be grateful for them. Whether you like your family or not, be grateful for your family. You wouldn’t be who you are without their influence, support, and love. Not every family is perfect and that’s okay. You’ll learn over time that family is something that always stays with you for a lifetime.

5. Enjoy their company! Hey, time will fly before you become independent yourself. You’ll realize that your life with your family was really short compared to the other years you’ll continue to live with your own family. So really take the time to make more memories and enjoy being with your family.

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People who have gone through substance abuses are often misunderstood in many ways. Some may not understand why they do what they do or why can’t just stop. There are many different level of reasons why because everyone’s situation is different. Also, it requires other people in their lives to be understanding without being judgmental like families and friends. If you know somebody who may be going through substance abuse challenges or yourself is going through that, here are some tips that could help you out:

Identify the problem. You can only start helping yourself or someone else in need if you properly know what they’re struggling with. By helping others/yourself to acknowledge that there is a problem is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Substance abuses can increase or be results of stress, anger, addiction(s), emotional distress, unhealthy treatments, or more. Problems could lead to bigger issues and early help can prevent more negative things from occurring.

Communicate with people. Talking things out well help sort out the emotions they’re facing and you understanding their situation more. With yourself, you can talk to families, friends, or seek professional consultation. Being able to have another person’s perspective on your struggles can help you understand the situation more.

Take the step to seek for help. There are so many resources out there in the U.S. to help people face/solve their issues. In today’s world, established centers will definitely help anyone out if people reach out to them. Sometimes, it’s really up to those people or yourself to help themselves. Remember that people are willing to help you or someone you know who needs help.

Here’s a link to another credible source for extra information.

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Human trafficking is a serious crime that is still happening today all around the world and in the U.S. It is the second biggest illegal trade in the black market after the drug trade. Victims of females and males can be found in this industry from as young as 12-14 years old. It is a form of human slavery that traumatizes and abuses people’s human rights.

To prevent more victims, we can try our best to recognize if someone is in a vulnerable position to be possibly become involved or lured into human trafficking. Note that different situations can lead people into this industry by:

  • Kidnapping
  • Homelessness
  • Friend/relative/anyone’s influences
  • Luring/trap by someone suggesting they’ll try to “help” out
  • Prostitution

There are many things we can do to help victims such as supporting them financially, emotionally, and through consultation. We want the victims to be able to support themselves and enjoy the joy of lives as everyone else. Human trafficking charities and programs really tries to help these women and men to have a better life. Here’s how you could help someone and/or get involved in this fight against human trafficking.

Source: http://www.findyouthinfo.gov/

Local Human Trafficking charities and organizations in Minnesota: http://mnhttf.org/human-trafficking/organizationsproviders/

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What causes obesity?

According to www.cdc.gov, obesity and/or overweight are labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height.

So what exactly can contribute to obesity within people? Here is the quick guide about what factors that may be lead to obesity.

1. Lifestyle

The way we live affects our body’s health and it can sometimes show through our weight, skin, eyes, hair, and more. If we tend to have little physical activities it will or may become a habit. Or it could be the choices of foods or our eating habit. It could cause a problem with our body because there is an unbalance between intake of calories and output of energy. So balance is the very key to keeping our body healthy so that our body doesn’t take in more calories than needed for our daily activities.

2. Genes

Genetics can be a reason why some people have more difficult time maintaining their weight or was born and struggled with being over-weighted. Having a family history in obesity can be concern and often times, it could lead to other health related problems; therefore, one should consult with their doctor for any weight concerns and questions.

3. Outside factors

Sometimes, there are things that we take in or do that may affect our body. For example, a taking a type of drug or medicine could increase or decrease your weight. If you are on a form of birth control or using a drug for something, it is required to consult with your doctor because no one knows entirely how it may affect your body.

4. Environment

Depending on where we live, our surrounding environment is one of the main factors that affects our physical activities. For example, one person may live in a neighborhood that does not have proper walking conditions and no walking or bicycling trails nearby. It could be a possibly reason why they would avoid going outside or not being as motivated to be more active in their environment. So our environment does an impact on how we chose to be more active and interact with out surroundings.

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The most common type of heart disease in the U.S. is coronary artery disease where cholesterol leaves deposit of plaque and it contributes to plaque build up over a period of time. Most people don’t know that they may have this disease unless there is a heart attack or possible early signs.

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Being aware of the symptoms can give people more information on how to identify if they may have this heart disease:

  • Chest pain that could frequently occur in your upper body and back
  • Short breaths where your body is leaving lacking oxygen due to the slow or very little blood flow from your heart
  • Heart attack which means that your arteries are blocked and cause your body to be deprived of oxygen

Call for emergency help if you think that you may be experiencing some of these symptoms. So what can cause this heart disease or add more stress to the heart:

  • Lifestyle/diet is a huge factor that affects your body. If people are not active enough or/and have a bad diet, they are more likely to develop heart diseases.
  • Smoking/drugs that could another stress to the heart and affect other organs besides your heart like the lungs, stomach, liver, and more.
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure that may be genetics, kidney problems, thyroid problems

Resource: www.mayoclinic.org

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www.trekearth.com

Whenever the end of the year is nearing, there are many traditions that the Hmong people have to do to welcome the new year. Instead of giving summaries to the many customs of the Hmong New Year, here some are links to outside resources that have great in-depth information about it:

1. Traditions, rules, and ceremonies during the Hmong New Year

2. Old Folktales

3. Hmong Shamans

Hmong New Year is first celebrated in the home then with the (last name) clan to the outside community. The Hmong welcome the new year by honoring their ancestors to receive their blessings from them, families, friends, and others for health, good luck, wealth, and a new beginning. It involves community gathering from young to elderly to feast, celebrate, and engage in fun activities.

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There are many things we can do to make the world a better place. One of them is to prevent youths from drug use and substance abuse. It is a parent’s concern as well as society’s problem because it does affect everyone.

According to www.cdc.gov, in the U.S. 66.2% of teens has had at least one drink of alcohol in their life. It is not surprising because teens are influenced by peer pressures and social expectations. About 40.7% of teens had use marijuana once or more during their life. This statistic could be so high due to the fact that many people perceived marijuana as ’safe’ to use. Also, 22.1% of teens has been offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property. Drug and substance use for many people and teens are easy way out of situations like dealing with stress, making a reputation, developing their image, trying to find their place in life, etc.

pastyearvariousdrugs

http://www.drugabuse.gov

Most of the time drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc., are not sought out by teens, but they receive or are introduced to them through a friend or a family member. It is those connections that we can’t stop because it is up to the individuals to accept or decline the offer. It is not about whether what is safer to use and what are the ‘acceptable’ risks. What we want is to prevent any possible harm that come onto the user’s health and others as well.

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There’s a saying that “you are what you eat”. Often time, people don’t realize that part of being healthy is eating healthy and it is in our human nature to want to eat yummy delicious food. Unhealthy food that are fried, loaded with fat, sodium, and have too much sugar can cause you to feel sick inside and out. That is why it isn’t ideal to eat out often or eat junk food on a daily basis because it does affect your health. Also, eating a limited range of foods doesn’t give you proper nutrients, it can contribute to obesity, and body related diseases. So it is up to you to determine how your body can become more healthy or unhealthy. It doesn’t take much, but for you to realize what you’re putting in your body.

Tip 1: Cook your own food. Even if your food isn’t organic, you can wash it multiple times and cook it properly. Also, you know what you’re eating, how much you’re consuming, and what you put in it. So you would know what’s in it compared to eating something that was prepared unseen.

Tip 2: Balance your eating habits. It’s ideal to have at least 3 proper meals a day, but eating snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner can actually benefit you. It’s because you won’t feel the need to eat more when you’re less hungry and your body will crave less. You may consume more calories here and there, but remember these are snacks, not a small meal. So just be careful of what you are snacking on.

Tip 3: Have varieties in your dishes. This means that keep your diet full of different fruits, veggies, carbs, proteins, and such. If you’re stuck on a certain carb like bread or rice, make sure to mix it up and add some color. You’ll enjoy eating something more with colors and textures.

Tip 4: Cut down on eating junk food. We all have some cravings at some point, but we can always try to decrease having them slowly. If you’re eating a donut today, maybe wait another 3 or 4 days to indulge again. It’s all about that balance you want to find and keep up.

Top 5: Drink water most of the time. If not, all the time. We all know pop, juices, mochas, frappes, and those other drinks have high levels of sugar. We can have them once in a while, but the body doesn’t need all that unhealthy sugar. Water can promote better circulation of fluids in the body as well as keep you hydrated throughout the day. Remember that our body does contain 50-60% of water. That’s a lot of water require to make your body function properly.

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According to www.yourdictionary.com/proverb, “the definition of a proverb is a short saying that is widely used to express an obvious truth”.

So why exactly are proverbs important to know? Well, they influence the way people interact with one another and the way we could perceive different situations. Often, they teach us important values in terms of respect, acceptance, love, responsibility, and more. Proverbs can teach us different aspects of many cultures and give us insights how people used to thought in the past. So here is a collection of proverbs from all kinds of cultures!

1. Korea : “A picture of a rice cake.”

In the Korean culture, rice cakes are loved by many people. If there’s only a picture of rice cakes, they can’t literally eat it. So the meaning behind this proverb is that you shouldn’t develop a desire that you cannot have.

2. China: “Do not do to others what you don’t want done to yourself.”

In Chinese cultures, there is an important emphasize of being a good nature person. That means that you wouldn’t want to do anything that would disrespect, harm, or possibly affect someone in a negative way because you wouldn’t want them to happen to you too. So treat people like how you want to be treated.

3. Vietnamese: “Ghosts have no pity on the sickly. Robbers have no pity for the poor.”

Life is about experiencing ups and down. It won’t be a smooth sail and expect to have good and bad situations because you can’t predict the uncertainly of what life may offer  you.

4. Thai: “As diligent as an ant.”

Thai people can see how little ants are and recognize that they work very hard. That is why even if it is hard work, be determined to carry out your responsibility.

5. Japan: “If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.”

You can’ expect life to give you everything. Sometimes, it is up to you to take the initial step. So if you don’t risk trying, you will not get what you want.

6. Filipino: “A monkey dressed up is still a monkey.”

You can change your outer appearances and what you wear, but you are still who you are. It takes more than that to change yourself.

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Teen_Pregnancy_thoughtsBy Patricia Thao

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