Voice Lessons for Parents:

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


Renowned speaker, parenting expert, and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Wendy Mogel offers an essential guide to the new art of talking to children, showing how a change in tone and demeanor can transform the relationship between parent and child.

Most parents are perfectly fine communicators—unless they’re talking to their children. Then, too often, their pitch rises and they come across as pleading, indignant, wounded, outraged. In tone and body language they signal, I can’t handle it when you act like a child.

Dr. Mogel saw this pattern time and again in her clinical practice. In response, she developed a remarkably effective series of “voice lessons” she shared with parents who were struggling with their kids. The results were immediate: a shift in vocal style led to children who were calmer, listened more attentively, and communicated with more warmth, respect, and sincerity.

In Voice Lessons for Parents, Mogel elaborates on her novel clinical approach, revealing how each age and stage of a child’s life brings new opportunities to connect through language. Delving into sources as diverse as neuroscience, fairy tales, and anthropology, Mogel offers specific guidance for talking to children across the expanse of childhood and adolescence. She also explains the best ways to talk about your child to partners, exes, and grandparents, as well as to teachers, coaches, and caretakers. Throughout the book, Mogel addresses anobstacle that bedevils even the most seasoned and confident parent: the distraction of digital devices, how they impact our connection with our families, and what we can do about it.

Her now classic book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, is a beloved resource for a generation of parents. Voice Lessons for Parents brings her unique brand of practical wisdom to harried parents eager to deepen their relationship with their kids. “Children will lead you on an incredible journey,” writes Mogel, “if they trust you, if you make the time, and if you are willing to follow.”