Voice Lessons for Parents Book Summary - Voice Lessons for Parents Book explained in key points

Voice Lessons for Parents summary

Wendy Mogel

What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen

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What is Voice Lessons for Parents about?

Voice Lessons for Parents (2018) teaches parents not just what to say to children – but how to say it. When you’re communicating with children, your tone, volume, and choice of words are just as important as the message you’re trying to get across. Parenting expert Wendy Mogel shows how to get the most out of communication with your child, whether you’re dealing with a tone-deaf toddler or a defiant teenager. 

About the Author

Wendy Mogel, PhD, is a social-clinical psychologist, renowned public speaker, and best-selling author. As a scientific advisor for Parents magazine, her goal is to promote self-reliance, resilience, and accountability in children and parents. Her other books include The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus.

Table of Contents
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Children respond to both what you say and how you say it.

    You’ve tried shouting. You’ve tried pleading. Maybe you’ve even tried putting your request in song. But it’s no use: your child just won’t listen to what you’re saying. Instead, she carries on as before. She keeps forgetting to flush the toilet, is mean to her little sister, and routinely comes home past her curfew.

    Why, oh why? It’s because your child isn’t just responding – or not responding – to what you’re saying. She’s also responding to your volume, pitch, tone, and choice of words. Like most parents, your voice changes when you talk to your children, and usually not for the better. You may sound whiny, desperate, or exasperated. Even small children can hear the weakness in your voice, and they’ll take it as an invitation to ignore or challenge you. 

    The good news is that even a little bit of voice training can make a huge difference in your relationship with your child. But before we get into the weeds, let’s consider a few basic skills you’ll need to practice. 

    First – and this is the number one skill you’ll have to cultivate – is patience. Yes, your child will tell you the same stories over and over again. And yes, you’ll have to repeat yourself, too. Sometimes your child will make you so mad you’ll want to scream. But training your patience can help you keep the actual screaming to a minimum. Because when you constantly erupt in front of your children, you’re sending them a disconcerting message. You’re saying, “I can’t handle you when you act like a child.” 

    Simple mindfulness techniques can help you keep your cool – or at least pretend to. If you’re talking and you start to feel tension creeping up, pause. Take a deep breath, and relax your face and shoulders. Lower the pitch of your voice, and slow down your speech. Your calmness will show that you can control your feelings, which will gain you more authority.

    The second important skill is listening. Don’t cut your child off or speak over her. Treat her with the respect you’d want to be treated with, and really listen to what she has to say. You’ll find that the respect will soon be returned. 

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    Who should read Voice Lessons for Parents

    • Young parents wondering how to strike the right tone with their child 
    • Despairing parents of reticent or rebellious teenagers
    • Teachers, coaches, and other guardians who want to learn how to inspire

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