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Do you think having manners instills self confidence in a child?  At what age should children be taught manners?

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I absolutely feel manners instills self confidence in children. Anyone who behaves with good character traits feels good at the end of the day-they feel successful. My children are immediately rewarded with verbal praise when I hear them use their good manners. My daughter is especially good at this saying "please" and "thank you", along with "good morning", etc. Just this past Sunday, she got into her carpool and said "good morning Dr. so and so". I heard about her nice manners from the mother. That evening, I told her how proud I was that she used good manners-this feeling of success and goodness makes her feel worthy and good about herself and therefore gives her self confidence.

For the latter part of the question, I feel manners can and should be taught early on. Personally, my kids hear about manners as soon as they can understand language. I have heard my 2 year old say "thank you mommy" (more like "sank you mommy") and he uses please when asking for something (e.g. "cookie please"). It's never too early to start!

Manners are always important.  They should be taught from an early age.  But if they aren't it's never too late.  I work on them with high school students if needed.   I don't know whether they instill confidence directly, but I think they help the student gain respect from others, especially adults they encounter.  If they feel respected, they probably feel more confident.
I wholeheartedly agree with Tobi. I also taught my children as soon as they could talk to say please and thank you etc. When they use to hear other parents saying how polite they are to me, you could see a grin stretch across their faces! I was so proud and so were they. They used to say "ta ta" before they could say "thank you". While Sean is non-verbal, he does give a smile when you hand him something that he likes and to be that is a big thank you!!!
Manners and consideration of others is not only a social skill, but also a life skill.  I work with many children who have not learned the simple nuances of getting along with others.  Addressing social and emotional learning is essential, yet not consistently addressed within the typical curriculum in the educational setting, or in homes...  For most of us, how well we get along with others is more important, ultimately, than what grades we got in school?  This may also apply to some of the adults we work with (RSVPs, thank you, you're welcome, etc.)?  Thoughtfulness is an art that deserves our attention, at all ages.  We can facilitate this with modeling and teachable moments, along with expressing appreciation for demonstrating courtesy, at any opportunity.  Thanks for posting this discussion!
Oddly enough, just had a tea party with my students addressing manners.  Many of the students do not have the opportunity to practice these skills at home.  They enjoyed having their tea served to them, the sanwiches and cookies servied on silver platters.  They were truly impressed using the cloth napkins.  THey learned how to pass food to their peers, sit with correct posture.  It was a great opportunity for students to have modelling of appropriate social manners.  They were thrilled to have this opportunity. 
Yes, manners are important and should be taught and made to be used from early childhood. The part of manners helping with self confidence, I believe, could happen when parents take the time to explain to the child why, when and how to be polite. With this knowledge, the child feels he/she is prepared to meet new people or try new events and this feeling of 'knowing what to expect and do' gives the child self confidence.
I think that teaching manners to children at a young age is so important.  Even a non-verbal child can learn the signs for please and thank you.  And verbal children can be taught to say these words from the minute they start speaking.  The children in my classroom know that they I will not do anything for them without a "please."  At snack time, they say "yes, please" or "no thank you" to the offered snacks and if they want more, they have to say "please" again.  If they forget, I just wait and they remember really fast.  One of the parents in my class commented that we are doing such a great job with teaching their children manners.  When his son had to get a shot at the doctor, he kept repeating "no thank you" over and over again.  It didn't mean he didn't get the shot, but at least he was polite in his protests!

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