How using toothpaste helped teach my child the power of words

I sat my son at the table and we did a back to school task that I was inspired to do after seeing a similar method circling around on social media.

I gave my son a tube of toothpaste and asked him to squirt it out onto a plate. He looked at me like I was crazy but I reassured him that it was okay to do so. When he finished emptying the toothpaste tube onto the plate, I asked him to put all the toothpaste back into the tube. He began to laugh as he said
“I can’t! that’s impossible mum!”
I waited for him to finish trying whilst also making what he thought was a fun mess and then continued to say the following words similar to the ones that I saw on social media:

“Words are like a tube of toothpaste”

If used the right way, toothpaste helps clean our teeth and keep our mouth healthy. Words are the same way. If we use our words to cheer someone up and say nice, helpful and encouraging things, our words can bring joy to another person. But sometimes we can get sloppy with our toothpaste, it can leak all over the cap and make an annoying mess.

The very same thing can happen with our words.

Sometimes we aren’t careful and little cut-downs or grumbling slip out of our mouth. When we’re sloppy with our words, we make little messes. We end up with bad moods and hurt feelings. Now if you squeeze really hard on a tube of toothpaste, all the toothpaste comes squirting out. What a mess that makes!
Our words can do the same thing. When you open your mouth and speak hurtful and mean things, you make a huge mess!

Now that you have tried shoving toothpaste back into the tube after it has been squirted out you can see that you can’t do it can you? And just like the toothpaste, the same thing happens with your words. Once you say those hurtful things, you can’t take them back. Saying “sorry” or “I was just kidding,” does not take the hurt of those words away.
Long after you have forgotten what you’ve said, the person you talked mean to will remember it. You can’t take it back, just like you can’t put toothpaste back into the tube.

Words are like toothpaste.

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 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, and just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can’t take them back. Use your words carefully. Make a choice that only kind and encouraging words will come out of your mouth. Only you can decide what words you use. Be known at school for your gentleness and compassion. Use your words to spread positivity in a world that so desperately needs it.
You will never, ever regret choosing kindness.

Always remember,
Words Are Like Toothpaste.



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