Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here
The world and your Catholic life, all in one place.
Subscribe to Aleteia's free newsletter!

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

The vital lesson every child should learn before middle school

TOOTHPASTE LESSON
Share

All you need is a tube of toothpaste …

If you have a child about to start middle school, you might be feeling a little anxious about how they’re going to navigate these next few years. It’s that tricky period when kids begin to discover who they are while developing those all-important friendship groups. In an ideal world this should go down quite smoothly, but the reality is that sometimes kids, like adults, are careless with their words and end up hurting people.

So when mom of two Amy Beth Gardner posted on Facebook a toothpaste experiment she’d done with her child to make a most valuable life lesson, we had to share it with you.

The teacher from Tennessee explained how she’d asked her child to empty a whole tube of toothpaste on to a plate and then put it all back in. Obviously her daughter Breonna found it impossible, saying “But I can’t!” and “It won’t be like it was before!” And here comes the lesson as explained by Gardner:

“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. 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. Just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can’t take them back. Use your words carefully, Breonna. When others are misusing their words, guard your words. 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.”

A simple but effective way to help spread kindness and compassion!

 

Read more: 3 Tips for helping your kids face back-to-school anxiety

Read more: 8 Secret acts of kindness that anyone can do

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.