Mom squeezes toothpaste onto plate—but what she tells daughter next is what all kids must know

By making a comparison using a simple household item, this mom taught her young daughter a life lesson about the “power of words”—one that she will never forget … a reminder of the importance of social skills.

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

Paul and Amy Gardner from Cleveland adopted Breonna, 11, and her sister, Bridgett, 7, in 2014. When Breonna turned 11, she was just about to enter middle school, and Amy wanted to give her something worth cherishing.

“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,” Gardner told TODAY.

By taking an everyday commodity and connecting it to its contents, she would pose a question that would enable Breonna to use her own reasoning skills to draw a conclusion.

“I came up with the idea as I was brushing my teeth the other night,” she added.

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

Amy took a tube of toothpaste and emptied it out onto a plate. She then asked Breonna to put it back inside. Breonna said: “But I can’t! It won’t be like it was before!”

Amy then told Breonna to always remember this simple lesson and never to forget the plate of toothpaste. She said, “Just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can’t take them back.”

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

The picture of a tube of toothpaste and its emptied contents on a plate became a powerful, viral metaphor for parents of children of all ages.

Words can influence, words can harm, and words can heal. Once spoken, they will remain ingrained in the minds and hearts of those who listen.

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

Amy posted an image of the toothpaste on the plate and uploaded to Facebook with her words of advice to her daughter:

“You will remember this plate of toothpaste for the rest of your life. Your words have the power of life or death. As you go into middle school, you are about to see just how much weight your words carry. 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.”

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

“You will occasionally make the wrong choice; I can think of three times this week I have used my own words carelessly and caused harm. Use your words carefully, Breonna. When others are misusing their words, guard your words.”

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

“Make the choice every morning that life-giving words will come out of your mouth. 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 wrote.

©Facebook | Amy Beth Gardner

Though this metaphor is not an original one, Gardner said that it was important to use the analogy to prepare her daughter for life ahead. “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.”

 
STORY OF CONVICTION

Twitter is banned in China, but the ‘Great Firewall’ is no match for Trump’s tweets

Twitter is banned in China, but the ‘Great Firewall’ is no match for Trump’s tweets
The Great Firewall of China—an extensive system of internet censorship—has blocked Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, making the communist ...
READ MORE >
 
Top Hot
2 moms find terrifying ‘help’ notes in online purchases. One writer died mysteriously months ago
2 moms find terrifying ‘help’ notes in online purchases. One writer died mysteriously months ago
A mother from Detroit found a chilling “help” note tucked in the new underpants she bought online for her ...
READ MORE >
Worried nurse finds out her cancer patient is homeless. Then she makes a simple phone call
Worried nurse finds out her cancer patient is homeless. Then she makes a simple phone call
This nurse found out her young patient with a brain tumor and his family were going to be ...
READ MORE >
Man sees dog ‘crying’ beside sealed box on side of the road—what he finds inside is heartbreaking
Man sees dog ‘crying’ beside sealed box on side of the road—what he finds inside is heartbreaking
Every year, 6 million to 8 million cats and dogs are abandoned by their owners. If the pets ...
READ MORE >
 
 
Truth Stories
Prisons can serve either good or evil. Prisons can prevent criminals from harming the society on one hand; ...
READ MORE >
By age 17, a deep pit of depression had taken over my existence. Like an empty carcass, I ...
READ MORE >
 
RELATED