Why Social Skills

Every day new research and articles are published that reinforce the importance of social skills for living a productive and satisfying life. Research has shown that everyone can benefit from improved social skills, and that organizations and societies benefit as well. When we find critical research or articles of interest on socials skills, emotional intelligence and related topics, we will continue to share these here. Also, we invite you to submit questions to our resident expert, Dr. Daniela Stamatoiu, MD, a board-certified neuropsychiatrist. You may do so by emailing your questions to jdwc@cotillion.com.

Ask Dr. Daniela Stamatoiu

Dr. Daniela Stamatoiu is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist, with extensive experience treating children, adolescents, and adults. She graduated from medical school at the age of 24, from the University of Medicine and Pharmacology in Bucharest, Romania before moving to the U.S. and completing a Psychiatric Residency at the University of Colorado Health Science Center. Dr. Stamatoiu trained in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Denver, Colorado. She began her medical career in mental health at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, and later joined the Psychiatric team at the Children's Hospital. Her responsibilities included evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adolescents with a variety of mental health issues. Dr. Stamatoiu can be contacted at Paramount Health Directions (303) 393-1726.

Dr. Stamatoiu has graciously been very helpful in answering questions that JDWC receives from our parents and students. If you have any questions for Dr. Stamatoiu, regarding the role social skills have in our everyday lives, please email your questions to jdwc@cotillion.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

  • What is your definition of social skills?

    Social skills are the ability to notice and process the meaning of a certain set of circumstances and in response to reasonable assessment, engaging the situation comfortably and meaningfully. As a result, self-esteem improves and the individuals progress socially and emotionally.

  • What role do social skills have in defining character?

    Assessing and engaging socially teaches an ongoing of others' and self needs. We practice taking other's perspectives, establishing our own, and the importance of elegantly moving between others perspectives and our own.

  • At what age do children start learning social skills?

    Children start learning social skills as soon as they are "socialized" at home, with siblings and family member, at daycare and/or preschool.

  • How important are social skills on a child's academics? Overall education?

    Engaging with other in a meaningful way (i.e. listening respectfully, maintaining eye contact, making others feel important,) will ease the learning process and create a fertile ground for growth. Our posture in a learning setting will inform our brain of the meaning of the task (i.e. if I slouch in my chair, I will feel sleepy and uninterested).

  • What impact does dance have, for the first time, on a young girl and boy? At any age?

    Moving in the rhythm of music starts the process of body self-awareness. Enjoying it increases comfort with yourself and lets you enjoy comfortably with others. (Ex. Learning to use body movement and senses to Tango with another individual, rather than following directions on how to Tango).

  • What impact does electronic/digital communication (cell phones, texting, email and social media) have on our children?

    Aside from reasonable use for information and communication, excessive use can derail attention from social communication, learning how to regulate anxiety with others, and training eye contact.

  • I think my child is too young to start cotillion. What age do you believe is appropriate for children to start, and why?

    I believe the earlier, the better. Everyone will benefit with improved social skills in settings such as a Thanksgiving table, in the classroom, in a waiting room, or at a hotel with your parents.

  • My daughter was the last girl chosen when the boys invited the girls to dance. She was humiliated and never wants to return to cotillion classes. What should I tell her?

    I encourage the child to plan on how they will be the chosen one next time. It is important to learn acceptance because this example happens to everyone at some point in their lives. It will additionally teach the child the painful lesson of being rejected, but will give them empathy next time when they are the chosen one and their friend is rejected.

  • What effect does a child's social skills have on dealing with (a) adversity, and (b) bullies?

    Bullying is a form of others controlling you. Whatever you can do to learn self-control, comfort your physical body, and strong self-confidence will help you feel in control. Once this is achieved, others will have little room to take something away from you.

  • My son never got a prize in cotillion. Why can't you give all of the students' prizes?

    "There's no shortcut to anywhere we are going to." We will take away the drive and the meaning of hard work and well deserved reward. Maybe what we need to do is ask our children what they need to do to earn that prize next time.

  • If you could give adolescents/teenagers any piece of advice for a successful transition to adulthood, what would it be?

    Remember that how you engage the world, and how you let it engage you will make a difference in your sense of satisfaction with results.

  • What can I do as a parent to make my child more outgoing, more popular with children his age?

    Does your child want to be more outgoing or popular? Maybe their idea of being in a popular group is different than your idea of being in a popular group. I would then encourage self-resilience, courage, and comfort with strengths and perceive short comings, and let it happen naturally.

  • What role do social skills play in our careers? Getting a job? Keeping a job? Getting promoted?

    We are social creatures. Before people know about our competence and skills they take in our way of being in the world. It is important that our very first impression is a good one.