Gardner told her daughter how her words are so powerful that it could mean life or death. We all know middle school can be a really testing time—for kids and for parents—and Gardner wanted her daughter to understand that for the next years to come the tween will see how much of an impact her words and choices will have.
"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," Gardner wrote. "Just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can't take them back. ... 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."
My daughter starts middle school tomorrow. We've decorated her locker, bought new uniforms, even surprised her with a new backpack. But tonight just before bed, we did another pre-middle school...
Gardner and her husband, Paul, became foster parents to Breonna and her younger sister (now 7) when Breonna was 9. They later adopted the girls.
Exercises like this are important to Gardner, who also spends a few minutes each morning reminding Breonna of who she is what she's capable of while looking her in the eye.
"I feel like I'm about to send her into a world that's going to tell her so many other things about who she is and what she can do," Gardner told ABC News. "I tell her all the time, I don’t care how popular she is, she’s popular in this home."
Who knew so much good could come from a little tube?