Lehr writes about what vexes her most—relationships, sex, money, communication, parenting, marriage, monogamy and the oppression of children. Tenacious, sharp and funny, Lehr's writing has been described as "subversive" by the renowned human behavior scholar Alfie Kohn while psychologist Dr. Laura Markham has lauded Lehr's ability to “make it fun for readers as they have their worldview dismantled and renovated.”
Currently at work on her fourth book, Lehr is the author of ParentSpeak: What's Wrong with the Way we Talk to Our Children—and What to Say Instead (Workman, 2017); Ill-Equipped for a Life of Sex: A Memoir (HarperCollins, 2004); and 78 Drawings of My Face (self-published 1996).)
Lehr's writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Scary Mommy, The Huffington Post and Natural Parent among other publications and her books have been featured in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle among many others as well as on FOX News, CBS News and The Wall Street Journal's Lunchtime Show. She has been a guest on numerous podcasts and radio shows.
As a speaker, Lehr has presented at SXSW, at California State University Northridge, Cal Arts and at numerous preschools and elementary schools across the country. She has recorded for NPR's All Things Considered and is a fellow of the artist colony Yaddo.
Lehr, 53, is the founder and director of Oxford House Projects. Since 2003, she has lived in the Los Feliz neighborhood of her native Los Angeles with her family.
Lehr received her BA from Connecticut College in 1991 where designed her own major that included studying the history, theory and practice of dance, art and performance. As a undergraduate, Lehr also studied at the American Dance Festival at Duke University and studied Performance in New York City through a truly remarkable, one-of-a-kind and short-lived program offered by Trinity College. After college, she had a short-lived career as a modern dancer as part of Dendy Dance. Living in New York City, she toured with the company in Europe and the United States. She then continued creating her own art work.
In 1995, she was accepted into UCLA'S MFA Program in New Genres. It was John Baldessari, then a visiting professor, who recognized the writer in Jennifer thus giving her permission to do something she never had the confidence to explore. She received her MFA in 1998 and was accepted as a Yaddo fellow in 2001.
The advent of the birth of her first child in 2006, sparked a decade of independent study of everything from the history of childhood (from hunter gathers to the present), early childhood development, attachment theory, democratic communication, non-violent communication, sociocracy, needs theory, respectful parenting, democratic parenting, childism, adultism, and other related fields. Her research included taking many courses including: 1) three years of RIE parent-infant courses and RIE Theory at The Resources for Infant Educarers Center; 2) Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training from expert teacher Meike Lemmens; and 3) Non-violent Parenting (largely based on the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and Ruth Beaglehole )from Echo Parenting and Education. And, of course, raising her two children, now 16 and 14, has been the greatest education of all.