May 4, 2021
Brian Mayer talks with Matis Miller about how best to work with
children who can sometimes be stubborn, difficult, or even
“uncontrollable.” Matis is the founder, director, and
supervisor of The Center for Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy of
New Jersey, Matis Miller is a licensed clinical social worker.
We hope you are inspired by today’s message. For more
information and additional resources please visit our website at
- Here is much of what Matis talks about on the show:
- Labeling or Diagnosing the Child: Having a diagnosis can make
it easier to modify school assignments or adapt your parenting
strategies. Additionally, when people have a diagnosis for
themselves or their child, it can be very validating; their
experiences and challenges suddenly make sense. I thought I was
going crazy, but it turns out that this is something that actually
has a name!
- ADHD: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a
fairly well-known disorder that is primarily characterized by
inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. The symptoms
are present before the age of twelve; in some children, they are
noticeable from an early age. ADHD can be mild, moderate, or
- Symptoms of ADHD include:
- Trouble focusing on tasks and paying attention to detail
- Difficulty following through and completing tasks
- Difficulty organizing activities or keeping track of
- Distractibility or forgetfulness
- Constant motion or difficulty staying still
- Excessive talking and interrupting
- Difficulty waiting one’s turn
- While most healthy children are impulsive and active, the more
extreme characteristics of ADHD significantly impact a child’s
- Parenting an uncontrollable child can be exhausting,
frustrating, chaotic, embarrassing, painful, and frightening.
- (It’s pretty tough on the kid, too!)
- It can also come along with a heaping dose of guilt: What did I
do wrong that my child turned out like this?
- Even the most experienced, knowledgeable, patient, loving
parents can find themselves with an uncontrollable child: a child
who is emotionally sensitive, easily dysregulated, overly moody, or
- Emotion dysregulation is often misunderstood, especially by
outsiders: He just needs firm discipline! All she needs is some
love! Why can’t you get your kid to pull himself together? You must
be coddling her; you shouldn’t stand for this behavior.
- There’s often nothing that the parents could have done to
prevent the uncontrollability—most of these children are hard wired
to be extra-sensitive, impulsive, or otherwise “uncontrollable.”
The good news is that there’s plenty you can do now to get your
life (and your child’s life) under control.
- As a parent, you have the power to influence your children’s
lives and enable them to achieve the healthiest state possible.
Childhood is the time to accept your child, build him/her up,
protect him/her, defend him/her, and love him/her unconditionally,
while simultaneously setting healthy limits, encouraging
independence, and teaching him/her personal responsibility. It’s
the time to teach him how to deal with emotional struggles on his
own, and also the time to teach him/her how to reach out for
- The “parent training” component of treatment for children with
emotion dysregulation is an essential element. Time after time,
I’ve seen that it’s far more effective to encourage parents to
change than to encourage children to change. That’s because adults
generally have a broader worldview than their naturally
self-centered children; they’re also typically more motivated, more
willing to cooperate, and more capable of self-driven change than
Thanks For Listening!
- With so many things that take time in our lives, I more
grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast
- If you liked this episode and believe that it would be
beneficial to a friend, family member, or colleague, please share
it using the social media buttons on this page.
Remarried Life Facebook Groupis a community of people just like
you who get and give support. Please join today!
As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it
is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are
binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in
about a minute! Take care.