Raising a Teenager Today: What’s Vaping?

Image 6-3-19 at 9.04 PM
We had a great turn out for this workshop at Morningside High School in Inglewood.
Would you like a workshop at your school?  Contact me for more info.

“Vaping” (or electronic cigarettes) has become a big problem with Middle School and High School youth. They think it’s safe because it tastes sweet, but it’s not. There’s nicotine as well as other chemicals and particles in the vapor that can harm the lungs and the developing teen brain. http://www.cdc.gov

I know communication with a teenager can be challenging.  Just remember they still need you and the guidance of your adult brain, even though they act like they don’t.

Teens can become addicted to the nicotine.  Nicotine is very addictive and hard to quit.

Contact me here if you’d like more information.  I also have helpful communication tips for talking with teens and keeping the lines of communication open.

If nothing you do is working, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not the only one who struggles with parenting a teenager. I’ve been there too!

Two of my favorite books for parenting a teenager are:

Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?  by Anthony Wolf

How to Talk So Teens Will Listen, and Listen So Teens Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

Check out TeenLine.org   TEEN LINE is a non-profit teen help hotline based out of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.   Teen “Listeners”  at Teen Line are trained and supervised by therapists to help teens who call, email, or text Teen Line.  “The line is free and open every night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm Pacific Time and can be reached by calling  (310) 855-4673 or (800) 852-8336 (US & Canada only). It’s been running since 1980, making it one of the oldest help hotlines in the country.” Wikipedia

One last word of caution:  If your teen is depressed or withdrawn or having mental/emotional problems, be sure to remove any guns from the home.  Sadly, teen suicide is on the rise because teens are able to access unsecured guns in the home or in a friend’s home.  You might talk with his friend’s parents about securely locking up their guns separate from the ammunition so kids and teens can’t access them.  We need to prevent unintentional tragedies. We see too many today.

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Holiday Stress, Kids, and Money


Holiday Stress, Kids, and Money

Are the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year” or “the most stressful time of the year”? I have great memories of the holidays as a child.  I couldn’t wait for December to arrive.  However, I have met many people for whom the holidays hold terrible memories of Dad or Mom getting drunk and everyone fighting.

Even though as a kid, I couldn’t wait for the holidays to arrive with all the magic of the lights, the music, beautiful cookies and presents under the tree…..my parents were not so excited. My mother and father worked very hard to provide for our family and the holidays meant more bills and more stress.  One Christmas Eve, I remember my dad was very depressed.  He had just been laid off and had no other prospects for work.  As a teenager, I was a bit worried about him, but within a few months he found another job.

Sometimes our kids learn more from our failures than our successes.

~ My dad never said a word, but his example spoke loudly to me.  What did I learn, watching him lose his job, get depressed, and then get back up and find another job?

R E S I L I E N C E ~ “the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune” says the American Heritage Dictionary.

I learned resilience by watching my father fall down and get back up again and again throughout his life.  He had the inner strength to bounce back from life’s hardships.  Years later, when I was laid off from a job, his example was there to guide me and inspired me to start my own private practice.  Hopefully, my example will help my kids someday if they lose a job.

Children learn resilience by watching how their parents deal with misfortune. As much as we need to protect our children from harm, we do them no favor raising them to believe that life should never have any pain, disappointments, or discomfort. Pain and joy are intertwined and inseparable, like it or not.

How will you and your family survive and thrive through all the holiday expectations this year? So much is dependent upon our own expectations.

I’ve heard, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”  Maybe so.  Do I expect Christmas to be wonderful and happy every year?  What if someone we love just died and won’t be with us for anymore holidays? What if we just got divorced and all our usual family traditions have changed?  What if you just lost your job?

Do we really have to spend so much on gifts this year and put more on our credit cards? What would make the holidays the most meaningful for our family this year?  More presents?  Or more good memories of times shared together?  What’s the right balance?

Of course, our kids want lots of gifts and that’s part of the fun.  We enjoy making our kids happy.  And, how might we also teach them that this is the season of giving as well as of receiving?

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“Parenting the Teenager” Workshop Flyer

Screenshot 2018-11-02 17.42.26


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“Parenting the Teenager”


Teen got you stressed ?

You’re not alone!

You’re invited to a special workshop for parents of teens

(or anyone working or living with teens)

Nov. 19 and Nov. 26, 2018


El Segundo Public Library

El Segundo, CA

(This program is not sponsored by El Segundo Library)




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Worried About Kids Getting Teased & Bullied?

FLYER-Bully Workshop,Westport Heightstwo young girls laughing behind another girls back

Learn how to help your child deal with bullying in a new, effective way
that really works!

Linda Marten will lead this informative, helpful training for parents and caregivers
hosted by Westport Heights Elementary School, March 20th and March 21st, 2014.

See flyer for more details.  FLYER-Bully Workshop,Westport Heights

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Kids, Technology, & CyberBullying

Join me at a parent workshop I will be leading at St. Jerome’s Catholic School next Wed., October 16, 2013, 6:30 to 8:00pm.

See the flyer for more details.  St. Jerome Flyer Oct. 16 wkshp copy

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Kids & Homework Hassles got you STRESSED?

Join me this month for a NEW parenting series of workshops
sponsored by Loyola Village Elementary PTA

Morning and evening workshops are offered to fit your busy schedule.

See the flyer for more details.
Loyola Village Parent Series Paper Ad-1-1

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How to Deal with Being Bullied

Tired of being teased and bullied? Come to a free workshop just for kids (ages 10 to 18) sponsored by Westchester YMCA, Youth Development Council on  Sat. Sept. 28th, 11:00 to 1:00pm. 

I will be leading some fun role plays to help kids deal with difficult situations they often encounter before, during, or after school.   BBQ after the workshop!

SIGN UP:  (310) 670-4316 or chadmaender@ymcala.org

See the attached flyer for more details or email me at Lmartenspeaks@yahoo.com


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“Discipline & Setting Limits” Workshop

images-2Open Charter Elementary School will host a workshop I will be leading next Wed. eve, Sept. 12th, 6:00 to 8:00pm.

See flyer for more details:

Open Charter Flyer, 9-12-13

All parents & caregivers are welcome.

Hope to see you then!

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Save the Date: May 28th, 8:30-10:00am at Loyola Elementary School

“Transition to the Teen Years & Setting Limits” REVISED Loyola Teen Years flyerTeen got you stressed?

Be sure to attend this helpful, interactive parent workshop led by Linda Marten and hosted by Loyola Elementary School in Westchester, CA.

For more information: Lmartenspeaks@yahoo.com

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