Stuart Shanker

About Stuart Shanker

Dr. Stuart Shanker is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology at York University and the CEO of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd. Stuart has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada and the US, and in countries around the world.Dr. Shanker also blogs for Psychology Today
11 01, 2018

Self-Reg: Looking to the Future

By | 2018-01-11T15:48:25+00:00 January 11th, 2018|

There is a widespread tendency to see resilience as a trait. For Self-Reg, it is an aspiration. We are constantly looking for ways to build a child or teen’s resilience: their capacity, as Ungar puts it, to access the resources that sustain wellbeing. And, Lord knows, we need to be [...]

21 11, 2017

Why Does My Child Hate Math?

By | 2017-11-27T12:12:58+00:00 November 21st, 2017|

Neuroscientists have recently made a startling discovery as to why so many students these days are having trouble with math. Brain imaging has shown that starting at a young age, a simple problem in arithmetic can trigger a fight-or-flight reaction. When this occurs, the systems in the brain that support learning math [...]

26 09, 2017

The Self-Reg View: Calm Begets Calm

By | 2017-09-26T15:13:00+00:00 September 26th, 2017|

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Biblical aphorism that one should “Pour oil on troubled waters” began to be seen in literal terms, as an empirical phenomenon worthy of study. Benjamin Franklin performed an experiment on a pond to prove the wisdom of this practice, and sailors took to [...]

8 09, 2017

Perseverance vs. Compulsion

By | 2017-09-19T14:44:37+00:00 September 8th, 2017|

This is an excerpt of Dr. Shanker's monthly article for Psychology Today. Read the full article, When to Push a Child, here. There is a fundamental difference between perseverance and compulsion. Perseverance is Blue Brain. It is fueled by interest and desire. We choose to keep going, despite the difficulties and [...]

17 08, 2017

Willpower Is Not the Secret to Success

By | 2017-08-17T11:18:16+00:00 August 17th, 2017|

We are in the midst of one of the most exciting and profound revolutions ever seen in our understanding of human functioning and development. As a result of striking advances in neuroscience, physiology and psychology, we are unravelling the complex interrelationship between the prefrontal cortical systems involved in reappraisal, inhibition, [...]

19 06, 2017

The Self-Reg View of: Overcoming Barriers

By | 2017-06-28T11:13:11+00:00 June 19th, 2017|

Back in 2001, David Sobel, an Education Prof at Antioch University in New England, published a fascinating book called Children’s Special Places. He was interested in the question of when and why children build forts. This typically begins around the age of 5 or 6. Building forts is sheer unadulterated [...]

11 10, 2016

Going For Gold

By | 2016-10-31T22:09:28+00:00 October 11th, 2016|

This post was originally published in the September issue of The MEHRIT Centre's newsletter. Like everyone else in Canada, I was mesmerized by Penny Oleksiak’s performance at the 2016 Olympics. Oleksiak had already proven that she was a force to be reckoned with at last year’s World Juniors. She was [...]

20 07, 2016

The Self-Reg View Of: The Joy of Self-Reg

By | 2016-10-31T22:09:32+00:00 July 20th, 2016|

I’ve had several defining moments over the course of my career, but nothing quite as powerful as what has transpired with our Foundations Courses. Our initial planning was conservative. We were anticipating a small number of participants to begin with, and, if things went well, a second offering at the [...]

15 07, 2016

The Self-Reg View Of: Stress Management As a Distributed Social Phenomenon

By | 2016-10-31T22:09:32+00:00 July 15th, 2016|

The degus, which live in central Chile, are an incredibly interesting species. Like prairie voles they are highly social, using digging chains to construct elaborate burrows. They have a broad repertoire of communicative vocalizations and complex foraging behaviours. But what makes them especially interesting from a Self-Reg perspective is that [...]