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
20 11, 2018

Blue Brain Red Brain Balance is the Key

By | 2019-10-02T14:18:43+00:00 November 20th, 2018|

Parents are forever asking us: “Can Self-Reg help me with my child’s challenging behaviours? Nothing I say or do seems to help.” Self-Reg will indeed make a difference—a huge one—in dealing with problems like explosive behaviour, aggression, defiance, tantrums, persistent crying, bouts of frenzy and constant arguing. But to address [...]

19 06, 2018

The Self-Reg View of: Freedom

By | 2018-06-18T13:50:36+00:00 June 19th, 2018|

Balance ⊢ Freedom I am still trying to understand the meaning of what we saw on the weekend of March 24, 2018: the March for our Lives. Teens around the world, rising up against – what exactly? The lack of gun control? Political apathy and cynicism? Insidious interest groups? The bizarre [...]

14 05, 2018

Teens and Motivation: Are We Focusing On the Wrong Part of the Brain?

By | 2018-05-14T12:15:23+00:00 May 14th, 2018|

In some ways, Janus would be the perfect symbol for Self-Reg. Partly, because Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions; but mostly, because Janus’ two faces were supposed to represent looking to the future and looking to the past. We might say the same thing about the “Triune Brain.” [...]

8 02, 2018

The Self-Reg View of Constant Craving

By | 2018-02-21T15:37:46+00:00 February 8th, 2018|

By: Dr. Stuart Shanker Experiments are all around us, if only we take the time to observe and reflect on them. We just had one with our 16-year-old son that would have been so easy to dismiss as yet another absurd teenager annoyance. But this one clearly demanded a bit [...]

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 | 2018-01-24T17:08:42+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 | 2018-01-24T17:02:27+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

The Self-Reg View: Willpower Is Not the Secret to Success

By | 2018-01-24T16:53:25+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 | 2018-01-24T16:33:35+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 [...]