Parents & Families

Online Workshop: “Parenting in a Post Pandemic World” 

With Parent Educator & Author, Mary Dalton, MA and her son, Christopher Fontana, MA

We invite you to join our online community of parents who are choosing courage over fear. Full Circle Leadership Center (FCLC) offers an 8-week book group series based on the foundational book, Children: The Challenge, by Rudolf Driekurs. The series begins with two weeks of Family Demonstrations, where participants can observe how similar our challenges as parents are. Our workshops include a variety of topics such as building self-discipline, sibling fighting, sharing responsibility, routines, and more. Our participants are committed to supporting each other and learning solutions to everyday challenges in raising our children.

Registration Information

Dates:      Wednesdays | March 20 – May 8, 2024 
Time:       4:30pm-6:00pm PST / 7:30pm-9:00pm EST (on Zoom)
        Parents / Guardians of children ages 0 -18
Cost:        $0 – 450.00 ($0 or reduced fee available based on a sliding scale.)

FCLC welcomes all families in our parenting programs regardless of financial situation.
If you need financial support please contact Anne Dalton to determine the appropriate fee for you and your family. Then you will receive a coupon code via email to register.

Not sure if this is the right fit for you and your family? Join us for a session anytime. Your 1st & 2nd sessions are free!


Parent Educator & Author, Mary Dalton, MA and her son, Christopher Fontana, MA, Executive Director of Full Circle Leadership Center. Mary Dalton has been educating parents over 40 years. Her work is based on the work of Doctors Alfred Adler & Rudolf Dreikurs. She has raised 6 children and has 13 grandchildren. The pivotal moment in her life was meeting Dr. Dreikurs as he worked with her and her children in a live family demonstration. Christopher has been an educator for 33 years, has two children and has taught parents, business leaders and teachers for 10 years. 

Parenting Topics Include

  • Understanding Children’s Mistaken Goals & Misbehavior
  • Building on the Positive & Eliminating Criticism
  • The Family Meeting
  • Building Self-Discipline: Homework & School Issues
  • Actions, not Words! Getting out of Nagging, Power Struggles & Conflicts
  • Taking Time for Training
  • Moving Beyond Punishment & Reward: Natural & Logical Consequences & The Power of Encouragement
  • Bullying, Sibling fighting & Whining
  • Sharing responsibility: Chores
  • Routines: The morning rush & bedtime
  • How to Manage Screen Time & Technology Peacefully

RSVP for first session HERE or Register for full session HERE

We welcome new families to join us each week of the workshop. We request that you join the Zoom call 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time for personal introductions to the facilitators and to receive a brief introduction to the format of the session. You may join in anytime from the first to last class. If you choose to continue in the class, your workshop cost will be prorated accordingly.

Family Demonstration Format

Mary Dalton works primarily with two families per session. All families benefit by seeing themselves in the parents who are working with her that week.

Part 1:            Introduction of a new parenting concept or strategy
Part 2:            Mary Dalton checks in with the family with whom she worked the previous week
Part 3:            Mary Dalton works with a new family
Part 4:            Participants may offer encouragement & appreciation to the two demonstration families.
Part 5:            Participant Q & A with Mary Dalton

Parents are invited to be courageous, open and honest in the spirit of teaching other parents by example. Families are not required to be a demonstration family, and all are encouraged to attend at least two sessions before requesting to be a demonstration family.

Book Group reading assignments will include 1-3 chapters from Children: The Challenge, by Rudolf Dreikurs, MD.

Demonstration Family Intake Form (click here)

Mary 2

It’s Not in the Genes, by Mary Dalton, is the captivating memoir of a young woman, who has the courage to leave her abusive mother in rural Missouri in the 1950’s. In her attempt to escape an almost certain future of alcoholism and mental illness to Chicago results in her repeating the same mistakes she learned from her mother. Out of despair, she accepts an invitation that would put her face-to-face with the cycle of abuse inside of her as she raised a family of six children. Mothers, and fathers, of all ages will find themselves on the pages of Mary’s mistakes and courageous triumphs. Mary teaches us that while all parents are unique, our problems and challenges are universal. Mary’s struggles and search for creative and common sense solutions to do life’s most important yet elusive work– parenting.

About Mary Dalton
Mary Dalton, author, activist, lecturer and educator has worked with thousands of parents, grandparents, teachers and kids concerning the struggles and challenges of raising our children. “Good mothers” have become America’s tragedy in a nation that doesn’t consider that it’s a crime to allow psychiatrists to drug our children. Her common sense, encouragement and down-to-earth attitude help parents to become proficient in the art of parenting and teachers to become leaders in the classroom. “I do not believe that I am any smarter than any parent out there; I just learned things– things that anyone can learn.” Born in Perryville, MO, Mary Dalton, the mother of six and the grandmother of twelve. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Forward from It’s Not in the Genes

I believe that our children can grow up without being the abused or becoming the abuser. My parents weren’t bad, just ignorant. I refused to believe that abuse was in the genes. I chose to believe in the law of nature and that what we feed – grows. Refusing to believe the “in the genes” theory meant accepting the responsibility for how my children would turn out. It was the greatest decision I ever made as well as the most unbelievable challenge! I wanted to prove that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”  

I believe we are abusing our kids…unknowingly. This has nothing to do with being good or bad parents, good or bad teachers. It has to do with a lack of understanding. We have not yet learned how to replace the old parenting and teaching methods that do not work in today’s world. It is simply because we just don’t know another way. 

In the seventeenth century, kind and caring doctors and nurses did not know that they were carrying germs from one patient to the next because they did not wash their hands between patients. Semmelweiss discovered that patients were actually being nursed to their deaths because of this ignorance. Our situation with today’s parents and teachers is similar. It is our responsibility to take care of our children, but without knowledge or intention, we are often the ones who most injure them. We need to re-learn how to raise our children to be competent, caring, responsible and independent adults. We can all learn the art of parenting using common sense, encouragement, natural and logical consequences. We can all learn to throw away our measuring sticks where the goal is just to find out who is first and who is best. We could make a breakthrough in parenting and education as revolutionary as Semmelweiss’ discovery was for medicine. 

This unknown abuse of which I speak becomes evident throughout these pages. No matter who you are or where you are from, I hope you will be able to see yourself in me. Our uniqueness as human beings is obvious. However, our similarities as parents and educators are too often ignored. We all make the same mistakes; we have similar problems in our homes and in our classrooms. We have so much to learn from each other.  

I do not believe that I am any smarter than anyone else, nor am I a better parent. I just stumbled upon a few things – things that anyone can learn. 

In our society, we keep searching for the new and undiscovered. What we really want is timeless: mutual respect, kindness, love, a warm home, enough food for everyone, children’s laughter, hugs, acceptance, sunshine and rain. The truth is…only you and I can change the world. 

Parents 1
Parents 2

The FCLC Experience What they’re saying

  • “I am an older parent and a veteran elementary teacher. I thought I knew how to parent well…I don’t. Mary’s parenting classes are helping me break old habits so that I can stop undermining my son by micromanaging him, and instead, raise a compassionate, responsible and independent man who will help shape a better society.” 

     Marjorie Lamarre
    John Muir Elementary Teacher & Parent

  • “This isn’t a class, it is a book club per se, that discusses your most important job, parenting, and suggests ideas and ways to interact with your children to encourage the behavior, respect and responsibility we all hope to see in our children. And the best part is the new friends you will make! I laughed at all our stories and enjoyed my special time at this parenting class each week.” 


  • “We have reaped many benefits from attending this class.  Regularly rethinking and challenging ‘established’ traditional parenting practices in collaboration with others is more powerful than any book ever could be.  There is a solidarity among the parents in attendance and an appreciation of the hard work of parenting in this age.  We are finding our kids are becoming more responsible and independent, as we let them experience natural consequences of their missteps and enjoy the fruits of their own successes.” 


Clases de crianza para padres de familia y demostraciones de consejería familiar con la educadora de padres y autora, Mary Dalton, MA

Sobre Mary Dalton:

Mary cuenta con una licenciatura en Educación y Consejería de la Universidad Estatal de Governors, Illinois. Una maestría en Consejería y Psicología de Vermont College y un certificado en Desarrollo Infantil del Instituto Alfred Adler de Chicago. Ha enseñado a miles de padres y educadores. Dio clases en DePaul University y Columbia University en Chicago, y en Western Washington University. Es autora del libro: “No está en los genes”. Madre de seis hijos y abuela de 13, una de las cuales asiste a la Escuela Primaria Internacional Beacon Hill. Mary es una activista, profesora y educadora que ha trabajado durante más de 40 años con miles de padres, abuelos, maestros y adolescentes en relación con las dificultades y los desafíos de criar a nuestros hijos.