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Scripts for Kids: How to Teach Manners that Work!

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How 2 Parenting Scripts Help Kids Learn Manners

How can scripts for kids teach manners? Our parenting skills expert, Dr. Donna Volpitta, author of The Resilience Formula, is here to tell us. Dr. Volpitta's interest in the relationship between the brain and language led to her scripting advice that's easy to use. Today, She'll share 4 typical phrases kids abuse and 2 scripts parents can use. I'll share 5 reasons why teaching your children mannerly expressions help kids now and in the future.

4 Impolite Ways Kids Express Their Wants:

1. I need...(demanding tone)

2. I want...(rude attitude)

3. I told you already...(disrespectful voice)

4. You never let me...(whiny talk)

When kids are cheeky and parents get angry, negative neural pathways can develop. They can influence a habitual way of thinking and reacting. This isn't what parents want. To bypass this danger, Dr. Volpitta suggests using two simple scripted phrases. She advises parents to use them repeatedly:

1. "You may not..."

2. "Please say..."

She tells parents to repeat these two scripts in a respectful tone with whatever needs to be said. If you do, you'll be creating positive neural pathways and your child will know just what to say and how to say it now and in the future. Here are some examples:

1.) Child: (whining): I want a cookie!

Adult: You may not whine. Please say in a happier tone, "Mom, may I please have a cookie?"

Child: Mom, may I please have a cookie?

2.) Child: I TOLD you already that I don't have any homework tonight!

Adult: You may not speak to me like that. Please say "Remember I don't have any homework tonight?"

Child: Remember I don't have any homework tonight?

Now it's your turn to use the two scripted phrases with this example:

3.) Child: You never let me do ANYTHING.

Adult: You may not... Please say...

Child: Repeats what you said.

Again, Dr. Volpitta advises us, "By providing exact phrasing through scripting, we reinforce particular pathways." The key is to use the script, say it exactly the same way each time, and repeat it often. (From Chapter Nine, pages 95-110.)


5 Reasons Why Using Positive Scripts Helps Kids Now and in the Future:

1. Kids learn what to say and what  to avoid.

2. Responses become positive neural pathways.

3. Manners become a habit.

4. Politeness is appreciated in and outside the home.

5. Children get what they need or want more frequently.

Dr. Donna has given us such an easy recipe with her two phrases for raising polite kids who know what to say and how to say it. When we teach children to repeat their words with manners, they learn social skills that work everywhere. What a positive way to help them shape their brains!


Let's PRAISE Dr. Donna Volpitta for advising us to use two simple but powerful parenting scripts. Now teaching manners is easier than ever.

Donna V

Dr. Donna Volpitta

Pick up a copy of her book, The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting and find simple ways to raise independent, confident, and respectful children.

Cover Donna
Available at


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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