"I am the mother of three young boys and I recently took the series of Active Parenting
Now classes led by Martha Portilla. Now that my husband and I are implementing
techniques we learned in the class, we are finding day to day parenting challenges to be
much less difficult because we are using the FLAC method, Active Communication and
We are having more family meetings where we actively involve our children in our
decisions; they appreciate this so much and feel really proud of themselves as positive
contributors to our family. When my children are having a problem with each other that
they can solve themselves, I support them without solving the problem for them and they
are really learning to work it out on their own!
This is so empowering to us as parents and also to our kids, in their sibling relationships
and other relationships they will have in their lives. I am so thankful for the support and
skills this program has provided to add to our positive family dynamic and help us build
strong character and courage in our kids".
Tyler Le Peau
Director of Children & Youth
Southside Presbyterian Church
"Before I joined the class I was thinking that the role of parents was to take care of their
kids by doing things for them to make their lives easier. Being in this class taught me that
our kids have their own voice and opinions too that needs to be heard as part of the
family. The class made me realize we as parents shouldn't be making all the decisions but
should facilitate the decision making process.
Our kids really like having family meetings and initiate them on their own. We were also
able to incorporate several communication techniques that have helped keep the family
even closer by merely listening to them. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience
of learning to be better parents and raising better children".
Rio Rico, AZ
"I have enjoyed being part of the Active Parenting Now Program. I have learned several
new skills to being a better parent. I have taught my kids to be more responsible and to
be able to do things on their own when I am not there. I’ve been working with them on
showing more respect to their elders. Since I started this program, it has been a lot
calmer in our house; the mornings have been smoother".
"Despite the fact that I have a 16 year gap between my older children and my current
child, I felt the need to improve my parenting skills. Taking the Active Parenting class has
made all members in our family feel more in control. My husband and I have learned skills
(choices, logical consequences and FLAC) to prevent and avoid melt downs, tears,
threats, frustration and embarrassment. We have learned to respond to situations with
our son without anger. We all have a greater sense of "family," "togetherness" and a
happier home. The six evenings taking this class was time well spent! I strongly
recommend this class for all parents...even those who have already raised children!"
Dawnie L. Kildoo DDS MAGD
Green Valley, AZ
"Since I started taking the Active Parenting Now Classes, I have learned a lot from it. I
mean stuff I didn’t even know that was out in this world that could help. I am not a
mother yet, but I will be one pretty soon. And I plan on using all these helpful tips with
I learned not to do for your child on a regular basis what he could do for himself. I plan
on showing my child he can do a lot by himself. I will also ask him for his opinion or advice
so he can have confidence in his abilities. I will also avoid the communication blocks by
not trying to solve my child’s problems for him. I will never change the subject when my
child comes to me with a problem.
I know these six sessions have helped me learn what I need to know about parenting. I
know I will be a good parent to my child. Thank you so much".
“Michael and I have enjoyed being involved with the Active Parenting Series. We feel that
it helped us to remember where we are at with not only coping with the changes of our
blossoming four year old but to keep our attitudes in the forefront. We learned that how
we show our feelings and how they are perceived are very important. We learned that
even small steps towards holding family meetings and discussions open the doors for our
child to come to us when she feels she needs to talk. We also realized how imperfect we
can be but that we can step back at any point and try again.
This is a class that could help many families throughout life, not just as a 6-week course.
Jeanne Cote & Michael Schoeneck
“We really appreciated the time and space to think about parenting well with other
parents! The tools in the class were useful, but just as valuable are the thoughts from
other parents about how they do things in their own family. One thing that we keep
saying is that repeating the class every three years or so would help us to continue to
grow as parents with each stage of Ellie's life!”
“I am very thankful that I took this class and for getting to know the rest of the families
and hearing their stories. I also learned different ways to cope with my daughter and also
ways for Estrella to grow more independent of me.”
Mother of Estrella (10)
"The active parenting class provided very useful tools that my family could use in
disciplining and encouraging the development of our 4 year old daughter".
"Our issue with our 4 year-old daughter was her propensity of jumping on our couch
when she was excited. We found that by using the family meeting, my wife and I were
able to communicate our feelings and our displeasure on her behavior. We discussed
alternatives such as jumping on the floor, or even jumping outside. There would be a
discipline component of either-or, logical consequences. I believe this is why now she is
no longer jumping on our couch".
Rio Rico, AZ
"I can cite an example of fostering problem solving and independence. The other day as
we were getting our stuff together for a camping trip, my daughter noticed an empty ice
cooler, and decided to make a bed out of it. She placed a small pillow in one end, and
laid herself on her back inside the cooler, with both feet dangling out on the side. After
several minutes of reclining, she started to make some audible grunts, then she asked me:
"Daddy, can you get me out of here? Please?" She raised up her hands in expectation.
I assessed the situation. She's past 4 years, and I felt that her safety was not a factor.
Unless she really couldn't remove herself, I wanted to see her succeed at this unlikely of
tasks. I responded in the same even tone, "Jazmin, you got yourself in there, I know you
can get yourself out."
I then walked out of the room for a second for her to think about the situation without
me being there as a potential crutch. When I came back, I noticed that she arched
herself upward enough to prop her feet on the lip. She then slowly crab-walked out of
the cooler. I told her, "You should be proud of yourself!" a statement I had learned in the
Active Parenting Now class to give herself a sense of accomplishment. She was really
ecstatic, jumping up and down in her usual response to success".
Rio Rico, AZ
"The Active Parenting Workshop has helped me a lot with my 4-year old daughter. Since I
started using I messages, I have a better connection with her because now she
understands my own needs. For example, if she is yelling instead of singing, I tell her:
Honey, please lower your voice because my ears are hurting. And she listens to me.
Before I would only say: Stop yelling! And she kept doing it.
I also use Active communication when she has a problem to show her that I understand
her feelings. She feels listened to and knows she can find a solution. We have
incorporated Family Meetings to talk about our family values as well. These are some of
the very valuable things I’ve learned!"
Lety del Castillo
Rio Rico, AZ
Testimonials - USA
Phone: (520) 647-4065
Be the best parent you are meant to be!