In 1978, Bismarck, North Dakota-native Patrick Atkinson was given a college writing course assignment about raising children. Following a theme that was popular at that time, he wrote a 7-stanza poem called, "A Poem For My Child".
Twenty-five years later, now as a parent and as the founder and international executive director of The GOD'S CHILD Project, Atkinson revisited this poem, and reworked it specifically for his son, Ernesto. Renamed, "A Message For My Child", this poem has become internationally popular, including being copied and reprinted hundreds of times and distributed in school districts, juvenile court systems and organizations, and republished in several countries on nearly every continent. In Central America alone, one printer made 175,000 copies of the Spanish version for free distribution among school children.
It is a copyrighted poem, but you have permission to reprint it in whatever format you chose as long as you (1) Attribute its authorship to "Patrick Atkinson (c) 1978, 2005", and (2) Do not charge for its distribution. Any other use or distribution of this poem is a violation of copyright law.
Copies of this poem are available, in both English and Spanish, for free distribution to schools, community groups, and nonprofit organizations. To obtain yours, please contact: 701-255-7956 or email Director@GodsChild.org.
Message For My Child author Patrick Atkinson in 1998 with son Ernesto
A MESSAGE FOR MY CHILD
I can give you life, but I can’t live it for you.
I can give you instructions, but I can’t tell you where to go.
I can give you liberty, but I can’t help you to protect it.
I can teach you the difference between good and bad,
but I can’t make the decision for you.
I can give you advice, but I can’t accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I can’t force you to receive it.
I can teach you to share, but I can’t stop you from being selfish.
I can teach you to respect, but I can’t make you be respected.
I can counsel you about your friends, but I can’t choose them for you.
I can teach you everything you need to know about sex, but I can’t make you act responsibly.
I can talk to you about drinking, but I can’t say “no” or “just one” for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can’t stop you from using them.
I can talk to you about having important goals, but I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about charity, but I can’t make you be generous.
I can pray for you, but I can’t make you walk with God.
I can talk to you about how to live, but I can’t give you eternal life.
When everything is said and done, everybody decides for him or herself how they will live their life.I love you, I accept you, and I hope with all my heart that you make the right decisions.
El Poema "Un Mensaje Para Mi Hijo". HAZ CLICK AQUI.
En 1978, Patrick Atkinson, un nativo de Bismarck, Dakota de Norte, EE.UU. estudiaba en la universidad cuando le dieron la tarea de escribir un poema sobre como criar niños.Siguiendo un tema muy popular en aquel tiempo, escribió un poema de 7-estanzas que le llamaba, “Un Poema Para Mi Hijo”.
Veinticinco años después y ya como padre y fundador y director ejecutivo internacional del Proyecto G0D’S CHILD (Nuestros Ahijados), tomó pluma a la mano y editó este poema específicamente para su hijo adolescente, Ernesto.En su forma original y ya modificada, este poema ha conseguido una fama internacional, y ha estado reimpresa cientos de veces para su distribución gratuita en escuelas, sistemas de tribunales para menores, y en organizaciones en docenas de países.Solo en Centroamérica, una imprenta sacó 150,000 ejemplares en español para su distribución gratis entre alumnos escolares.