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Help for a Self-Centered Child

Laura Kuehn, LCSW
Written by Laura Kuehn, LCSW

If you saw the picture of the googly eyes and thought that this was going to be a light-hearted post, I am sorry to disappoint you. It’s not. The googly eyes will come into play later. Keep reading. To set the stage, I want you to read the chorus from one of my favorite songs, Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath (you can listen to it here).

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

This song stirs my soul. And it sums up my heart’s desire: that I would not be so wrapped up in my own life that I would be unable to see the needs around me; that I would have a heart that would seek to serve rather than be served. Unfortunately, I fail miserably most times, but this is what I strive for. I know that it is God’s desire for my kids to see beyond their own little world as well. He wants them to see beyond their own selfish needs into the hearts and lives of those they encounter. Like me, it is a work in progress.

Here’s what we did: We sat down together and listened to this song by Brandon Heath. We talked about what they thought the words meant. Then I passed out the googly eyes. I told them that they would each get two eyes to carry with them in their pocket as a reminder to have eyes to see the needs of those around them. The rattling sound would provide a constant reminder.

Here are some ways our kids can seek to serve those around them:

  • Hold the door for someone
  • Offer to carry something
  • Notice someone’s mood and ask an “other oriented” question
  • Try to meet another’s need

I then commissioned them with the task to have “eyes to see” as they went about their day. The results? I was encouraged. A travel mug was retrieved from the car without being asked. A dirty table was voluntarily wiped down with a cheerful smile. Ketchup was gotten for someone who had none.

Are my children now givers instead of takers? Hardly. Neither is their mom. Sanctification is a process. But I have hope because “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

About Laura

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura is a licensed therapist who offers individual and parent counseling to individuals in Connecticut. Cornerstones for Parents is the place she combines some of her favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She is happily married with a young adult son and a teenage daughter.


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