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The vital lesson every child should learn before middle school


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

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