HDS Book Review: Voice Lessons for Parents

Book Title and Author: Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen by Wendy Mogel
 
What attracted us to this book: The faculty and staff had watched a video of Wendy Mogel giving an excellent talk that was interesting, thoughtful, and funny. We also thought that the subject would guide us in our interaction with students of all ages at Harbor Day School.
 
Summarize the book in one or two sentences:
 
In Voice Lessons for Parents, Wendy Mogel offers an essential guide to the art of talking to children and shows how a change in voice and perspective can transform conversations and ease the relationships between parents and children. She uses diverse sources such as neuroscience, personal stories from her own life, fairy tales, and anthropology in order to give specific guidance for talking to children across the spectrum of childhood and adolescence.
 
Share a favorite quote from the book:
“Children’s fresh perspective, playfulness, and innocence, their ardent desire to know, adds color to your life. Being a parent can reduce rather than increase your stress if you recognize that it’s a chance to explore majestic and mysterious places alongside your son or daughter. They will lead you on an incredible journey if they trust you, if you take the time, and if you’re willing to follow.”
 
“It’s good to have a mediocre teacher because it teaches them resilience.”
 
“Part of the parental anxiety that is so pervasive today has to do with what I call ‘AP Parenting,’ the notion that every decision has to be the right one, that we can’t possibly come back to a child and say, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about what I told you yesterday, and I have a better answer.’”
 
Share a key lesson or a way you will apply the information you learned from the book:
 
Mogel had thoughtful insight about how to communicate differently with boys and girls. For boys: Speak loudly, calmly, simply. Repeat. For girls: Deliver your message in a direct, honest, relaxed manner.
 
The Bank of Goodwill - Instead of parents pointing out the negatives in their child’s lives, they should put emphasis on the positives, creating a mutual respect between a parent and a child dependent upon a parent’s deposits in this bank. It’s kind and loving, but it’s also strategic. She says, “At every age, children will bring you the worst problems you can imagine and also the most dazzling moments. The more you know what gladdens your child’s heart, the more of those moments you’ll get to see.”
 
She recommends that parents listen to their children and make specific comments to them.
 
No matter what the age of the child, he or she won’t remember the information if you download it all at once.
 
Who would benefit from reading this book? Anyone who works and interacts with children would benefit from reading this book. This book would also be helpful with adult conversation.
 
Have you read a better book on a similar or related topic? If so, name that book:
 
No, this book was really readable and personable and funny.
 
Rate the book from 1-5 with 1 being not worth reading and 5 being drop everything and read it now:
 
4.56 - It was a really enjoyable read, especially if you are a parent.

Harbor Day School

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949-640-1410
Harbor Day School is a co-educational private independent K-8 school established in 1952.