Do you love your mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, grandchild, aunt, uncle, grandfather, grandmother, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend? Do you care for yourself, your future? Then don’t keep an unlocked gun in the house. Only locked, secured, unloaded guns should be kept in your house-if you care at all.
“A Scout is brave. ” This is part of what was said to 17-year-old Pascal Tessier as he achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout. How brave is Pascal? He is the first publicly gay Eagle Scout and was able to do this because the Boy Scouts now allow gay youth. Weird that it has taken so long, but good for Pascal. Now he wants to be the first gay Scout leader. He’ll probably achieve this goal also.
I had no luck posting this video of Michael Sam speaking about coming out yesterday. Fingers crossed-I hope it works today.
Many of you have heard about Michael Sam, the outstanding football player who announced that he was gay. This young man said that he did this because he wanted to own his truth. What an honest and refreshing statement. What of your truth should you acknowledge and own?
If this doesn’t keep you from smoking cigarettes, nothing will-the Real Cost.
Because I have worked with youth in corrections, I have known young people who have been involved in murders. All of them, if they could have gone back in time, would have made different choices. Can you increase your odds of making the right choice in difficult, high-pressure situations? Yes. In that moment, take that moment and ask yourself if what you are angry about will matter in a year, 5 years or enough to give up your life or take someone else’s.
I meet a few young people with drug problems and I try to help them get into drug treatment. If you or someone you know uses drugs your healthcare provider is a good resource. I also found a site where you can search for drug treatment programs in your area. Here’s the link: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/TreatmentLocator/faces/searchResults.jspx.
Here’s some good news-more and more schools offer delicious, healthy foods. For example, here’s a link (http://bit.ly/XD2m7q) to a video from the Minneapolis Public Schools about their salad bars. They even explain how to use a salad bar, including how not to sneeze on the food. I hope I get invited to eat in one of the Minneapolis Public Schools. My school meals were never like this.
Bottom line-nobody needs candy with marijuana in it. It’s like putting vodka in a gummi bear, why do it? It’s not safe for young people and really dangerous if children get into it. Here’s more about this “great new trend” from my local newspaper, http://www.startribune.com/nation/243117141.html.
Oh me! Oh Life!
I worried that the MTV show “16 and Pregnant” would encourage young women to get pregnant because of how much publicity the women on the show get. Luckily, that’s not what happened, in fact the show has been shown to decrease rates of teen pregnancy. Who knew that a TV show could do this? It’s great news.
I keep meeting young people who need counseling for one reason or another, but they refuse. I know some folks think that counseling or therapy is for “crazy” people, but of course that’s not true. Counseling works and if you are going through any type of tough situation, you’ll benefit from therapy. In fact, everyone faces challenges eventually and most everyone would benefit from counseling. Life is hard sometimes-make sure you get the help you need.
Did you know that 1 out of 5 female college students have been sexually assaulted? In order to address this terrible problem, today President Obama announced an initiative to end campus sexual violence. If you want to know what you can do about this problem, check out Students Active For Ending Rape, SAFER. SAFER has resources for college students who want to change college campus sexual violence policies in order to make colleges safer. Find out more here: http://safercampus.org.
It’s probably a bit too simple a way of thinking about things, but I think counseling is a good idea for many young people who have chronic medical conditions because there is a strong mind-body connection. We know that if someone is stressed, for example, they might feel it in their body. Maybe they’ll have an upset stomach or feel tired. It works in reverse also. If you are dealing with a medical issue it’s natural for you to feel stressed, anxious and maybe depressed. Because of the mind-body connection, it makes sense to do what is needed to get your body AND mind healthy. So, take care of your mental and physical health, they’re linked.
“Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
From “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. April 16, 1963
I read this interesting article about how we should take time away from social media that included great advice for parents-model the behavior you want to see in your teen. The author recommended that parents, not just teens, put their phones and computers away by a certain time at night. Also, parents should leave their teen alone and not text them all the time. Encourage your teen to a break from technology by giving them a break from you.
“They didn’t understand it, but like so many unfortunate events in life, just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
I showed some parents the Circle of 6 antiviolence app today. It really is great for everyone. Here’s more about the app.
I know a young person who had trouble quitting smoking until she tried e-cigarettes. I know that there are lots about e-cigarettes that we don’t know, but they seem to help some people quit smoking. Unfortunately, some e-cigarette companies are trying to get young people who never smoked to start smoking e-cigarettes. Don’t let these companies trap you and get you hooked on tobacco. Use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, not to start.
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”
Here’s a video from the Reach Out organization with ideas that may help you when you are feeling down on yourself, or maybe help you start the day on a positive note-a personal pep talk.
I just read that someone died of bird flu in Canada recently. The bird flu is unlikely to harm most of us, but the regular flu can. Are you prepared? Have you gotten your flu vaccine?-this is something you need to worry about and can do something about!
It’s the beginning of a new year, not the school year. Nevertheless, these ideas for Freshmen that I found in an issue of Urban Eyes, the newsletter from Minneapolis Public High Schools City-wide Student Government, may help those returning to school after winter break. Actually, most of them are good ideas for all of us.
1. BE YOUR SELF!
-This way you’ll get comfortable in your own skin and you can strut your stuff!
2. DO EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
-You will make a ton of friends and it will help you build your confidence
3. GET TO KNOW YOUR TEACHERS
-This is helpful when you need someone to talk to, or you just simply need help with your homework. It will also make you feel more comfortable in the classroom.
4. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR SCHOOL
-This will be useful when you need to get to class quickly without having to deal with all hallway traffic.
5. DON’T PROCRASTINATE
-Keeping your GPA up will make your road to graduation that much easier.
6. KEEP A JOURNAL OR PLANNER
-It makes everything so much easier when you have all you homework for the day all in one place. Staying organized is key.
I keep thinking about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP, which is a pill that when taken daily protects against HIV. I wrote about PrEP recently, but I’m surprised about one thing I read about PrEP-very few people are using it. I wonder why that is? Why if someone is at risk for getting HIV, why wouldn’t they do everything they could to protect themselves? I guess the same question could be asked about condoms-why wouldn’t someone simply use a condom to decrease their risk of getting HIV or any STD? I don’t get it.
“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
I realized a few years ago that 4-H clubs are found in urban as well as rural areas. Click here to find out what a Minneapolis 4-H club has been up to. http://www.startribune.com/video/237060011.html?chan=/video&pn=1
I know this doesn’t directly relate to health, but I enjoy watching this video and think you might also, just click this link.
The winter Olympics are in Sochi, Russia next year. In order to get encourage activity by citizens, machines have been set up that give tickets for free subway rides in exchange for 30 squats. Check out how it works here:
I also love this video from Bedsider.org. What a Grandmother!
I was showing a young person the Bedsider.org site today and found this funny video.
I know someone who advises young people to plan how much they will drink before they will go out partying. He hopes that if a young person plans how much they will drink they will be less likely to drink until they are drunk or pass out-they’ll stay in control. This is how it may go-you plan to have 2 beers when you are at a party because someone you have a crush on will be there, or maybe because you know that if you drink more you will feel sick in the morning. This is drink planning. Give it a try and see if it will help you remain in control.
I watched a security tape of two people as they were about to rob someone. I wondered how they would react if they saw themselves. Would they have regret or feel embarrassed? How about you? How would you react if you could watch yourself and see your actions after the fact? Would you be embarrassed or proud? You’re not going to try to rob someone, but you’ll have opportunities to choose how to react in a certain situation. To choose whether to sit back and allow bullying, for example. How would that look on camera?