Saturday 20 August 2016

Mom Uses Toothpaste To Teach Daughter A Lesson About The Power Of Words

The image of a plate of spilled toothpaste became a powerful, viral metaphor for parents of new middle school students this week, as one mom explained how she used the simple household item as a visual lesson to teach her daughter about the power of her words once they are out in the world.

In a Facebook post that has been shared over 550K times already this week, Amy Beth Gardner of Cleveland, Tennessee, wrote about something special she did to prepare her oldest daughter for middle school. She asked daughter, Breonna, 11, to squeeze toothpaste onto a plate, then asked her to put the paste back into the tube. When her daughter protested, Gardner told her to remember the plate of toothpaste for the rest of her life. "Just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can't take them back," she said.
While the metaphor — how a squeezed tube of toothpaste represents words leaving our control — is not original, Gardner said the idea to teach it to her daughter as part of their preparation for her first day of middle school seemed particularly important. "I came up with the it as I was brushing my teeth the other night," Gardner told TODAY Parents. "I had been thinking for weeks about how my daughter was entering middle school and how I wanted to prepare her as best as I could."
So after finishing all the normal back-to-school rituals with Breonna — "decorating her locker, choosing a uniform for the first day, and even surprising her at bedtime with a new backpack" — Gardner said, "Right before she went to sleep, I told her I wanted to talk to her about words and how she was becoming more and more responsible for her words."
Mom Gives Daughter Unforgettable Lesson About Kindness By Squirting Tube of Toothpaste Onto a Plate

Courtesy of Amy Beth Gardner
Paul and Amy Beth Gardner with daughters Breonna, now 11, and Bridgett, now 7, on the day of their adoption. The Gardners were foster parents to the girls before they officially became a family.
"As you go into middle school, you are about to see just how much weight your words carry," Gardner told Breonna, according to her post. "You are going to have the opportunity to use your words to hurt, demean, slander and wound others. You are also going to have the opportunity to use your words to heal, encourage, inspire and love others."
Gardner encouraged her daughter to use her words carefully. "Decide tonight that you are going to be a life-giver in middle school. Be known for your gentleness and compassion. Use your life to give life to a world that so desperately needs it. You will never, ever regret choosing kindness," she said.

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