Shreveport pediatrician writes children’s book tackling mental health

“I realized that there’s an alarming amount of kids who are coming in with just low self esteem issues."

Shreveport pediatrician writes children’s book tackling mental health
(Source: Maranda Whittington)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Northwest Louisiana doctor was noticing something alarming — many of her young patients were struggling with low self-esteem.

Dr. Gretchen Petterway spent nearly three years creating her book I am Cool. The book is a reminder that while others might look different, it’s what’s on the inside that really matters.

“This is my lifelong passion to treat kids and to do it on a daily basis and have fun doing it, I couldn’t ask for anything better," she said.

Dr. Petterway works as a pediatrician in Shreveport, and it’s something she says she’s always wanted to do.

“I realized that there’s an alarming amount of kids who are coming in with just low self esteem issues," she said. "(They would say) ‘oh, my hair isn’t straight, or my hair isn’t curly or I’m too tall, I’m too short.’ It was always something.”

So she decided to tackle the issue by writing a children’s book.

(Source: Maranda Whittington)

“I want our parents to make sure that we promote that for our children so that they understand early on that I am cool," she said. "I may be different, but I am cool. I am perfect just the way I am.”

Writing this book also became a way for Dr. Petterway to deal with issues she’s struggled with in her past.

“I remember my kindergarten teacher basically saying I wasn’t smart enough to be promoted to the first grade and that stuck with me," she said.

While she’s been able to heal from that pain, she hopes her book will be the start to pushing self-love for children in our area.

Dr. Petterway has plans to write more books that will tackle other issues like death and divorce.

If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, click HERE.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.