Middle school represents an important transition period in everyone’s life. At that age, people start to become more aware of who they are and how they fit into the world, and they have to be prepared for the extra responsibilities that accompany that knowledge.

Amy Beth Gardner, a mom from Cleveland, Tennessee, wanted to emphasize to her daughter just how important the move to middle school would be, so she taught her a brilliant lesson that she’s sharing with parents everywhere.

With her daughter about to start middle school, Amy Beth Gardner prepared just like any parent would. The proud mother decorated her daughter’s locker, bought new uniforms, and even surprised her with a new backpack.

toothpaste-2Flickr / anselm23

However, on the night before the first day of school, Amy Beth had one more thing in mind to help get her daughter ready. She handed the pre-teen a tube of toothpaste and asked her to squirt it out onto a plate.

May 24th, 2011Flickr / Chris Waits

When the girl finished, Amy Beth calmly asked her to put all the toothpaste back in the tube. Her daughter began exclaiming things like “But I can’t!” and “It won’t be like it was before!”Amy Beth quietly waited for her to finish and then said some truly powerful words.

toothpaste-3Flickr / Phil Romans

Amy Beth told her daughter: “You will remember this plate of toothpaste for the rest of your life.”

toothpaste-1Facebook / Amy Beth Gardner

“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.”

toothpaste-5Flickr / nieve44

“You are going to have the opportunity to use your words to hurt, demean, slander and wound others.”

toothpaste-6Flickr / mslivenletlive

“You are also going to have the opportunity to use your words to heal, encourage, inspire and love others.”

toothpaste-7Flickr / Jeremy Wilburn

“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.”

toothpaste-9Flickr / tabor-roeder

“When others are misusing their words, guard your words. Make the choice every morning that life-giving words will come out of your mouth.”

toothpaste-10Flickr / good-karma

“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.”

toothpaste-11Facebook / Amy Beth Gardner

What an important lesson! One day Amy Beth’s daughter will look back and be so grateful for her mother’s wisdom and the creative way she imparted it.

Share this incredible message with your friends below!