Quieting the Self

I heard a wonderful documentary on CBC radio today about teaching students to self regulate or quiet the self. I ruminated on it while I was sitting in church.


One very positive thing about participating in organized religion as a child was that even though I was required to sit quietly in church it actually taught me the value of sitting quietly.

That is so rare for children these days. There really is no place they are required to sit still other than perhaps in school. Maybe at a public movie theatre or live theatre performance if they are lucky enough to be taken there.

Of course I was bribed quite often in church with mints, judicially portioned out to me and my brothers by my great Aunt Jean. (My mother always sat way up in the choir loft.)

Or I would doodle on the church bulletin.

Or just maybe flip through the hymnbook once I learned to read.

It was sitting quietly in church that my most creative thoughts would emerge.

Kids are so stressed these days that they are having trouble learning. The documentary with Stuart Shanker sites that when they are stressed their brains actually turn off their hearing. So escalating your voice doesn’t help. Deescalating the situation is more helpful.

Children are being taught to self regulate, to self soothe, to “drive their own bus”.

So I am grateful for an old Aunt who made me sit still in church.

Listen to the documentary here:



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