Say What You Gotta Say

Posted on Posted in DrDownload

This week, I’m writing about the power of words.  If you could say anything to a child that would change things for the better, what would you say?

The conversations around our dinner table these last weeks before the presidential election have been wonderful and enlightening.  Flash back to my week in New Orleans with the American Academy of Pediatrics.  I was delighted to learn about the Dear World Project.  If you aren’t familiar with John Fogarty and his work, you can learn more at His photojournalism highlights a belief in the power of the human spirit.  It is the voice of people who have something to say to the world, and I am among them with my pediatrician colleagues.  Watch.


“Say what you gotta say…”  The power of conversation and words cannot ever be ignored.  From your infant who is just beginning to copy the pitch and flexion of your own sentences to the sullen teenager slumped in his chair at the dinner table, every conversation matters.  Don’t stop talking to your children, even if you think they’re not listening.  Choose patient and kind words.  Tell them the stories of your childhood, of the things you hope and dream for them, of the rules that need to be honored.  Every word, every conversation builds a bridge to your child that will nurture their healthy growth and development.

If I could say anything to a child that would change things for the better, my photograph would say:  Have a grateful heart.

What would your photograph say?  What would your child say?  Send me your words, and we can make a photo essay of our own for the Dear World Project.

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