September 2010 e-Parent Featured Article

This month's article is a compilation of "nuggets of wisdom" from current Illinois Wesleyan Parent Board members.  It is primarily intended to guide incoming students and their parents, but we hope everyone with a student enrolled at IWU can take something away from the sage advice of our contributors.

Jan Bersano Jan Bersano
Mother of Thomas '12
Libertyville, IL

"Take/make opportunities to meet other parents and share experiences and information.  Share what you learn about IWU with your student.  Encourage him or her to participate in academic and social opportunities and to make use of available administrative services.  Let your student know that University faculty and employees are there to help and support him or her."

Rick Bersano Rick Bersano
Father of Thomas '12
Libertyville, IL

"Be involved in some way, like with the Parent Board, etc. to give you an additional connection with the University beyond your child.  It enriches your experience with the time you are connected with IWU."

Bruce Bogen Bruce Bogen
Father of Brent '08 and Drew '13
Colona, IL

"Make double-sure that your son or daughter doesn't over-schedule themselves.  There is so much they can get involved in, but SHOULD they?  All of our kids were high achievers in high school, and they will be tempted to say yes to everything that comes their way.  They will have a pretty heavy homework load at IWU, and they do still need "down time" to just be themselves.  That said, I'd advise students to also take part in social events that they might not be sure about.  College is a time to grow and find out who you are; kids might be surprised that they like things they didn't know they liked."

Bill Bow Bill Bow
Father of Lindsay '13
St. Charles, IL

"Help your kids understand that, at Illinois Wesleyan, the professors want to get to know them.  Among the reasons they teach at Wesleyan is because of the small school environment and their ability to interact with students.  This immersion will eventually occur, but the sooner it does, the better your kids will do in school and the more they'll enjoy the experience.  By chance, my daughter ended up sitting next to one of her professors at an off-campus concert during her freshmen year – and found out that professors weren’t so stodgy after all!"

Diane Cannon Diane Cannon
Mother of Charon '12
Alsip, IL

"Maintain dialogue with your child.  Parents sometimes mistakenly think they no longer need to actively participate in their child's life, but they are wrong.  Their child is just off to college and not yet grown.  They do not understand how to tackle many obstacles they will encounter.  They still need their parent's involvement.

Martha Diehl
Mother of Rob '13
Savoy, IL

"Let your child set the "pace" for speaking by phone - one can always e-mail or text, giving the student autonomy for responding."

Jane Huels Jane Huels
Mother of Amanda '12
Winnetka, IL

"Despite our students use of text, e-mail, Facebook and Skype to stay in contact with everyone, an old-fashioned letter is still in style.  In my daughter's first year I got in the habit of sending her a weekly postcard with a few bits of news or words of encouragement.  The card may have been from someplace we traveled together or a painting that reminded me of her.  When she returned for her sophomore year, I thought she didn't need a weekly reminder that she was missed and loved  --  she let me know otherwise."

Val Jencks Val Jencks
Mother of Amanda '12
Downers Grove, IL

"Know who to call.  Familiarize yourself with the resources available at IWU.  Parents best assist their children by helping them to help themselves.  We all can do this by knowing who to refer them to on campus,  whether it’s the resident advisor in their dorm, the nurse practitioner at Arnold Health Services or a counselor in the counseling center in Magill Hall."

Lynn Moczynski
Mother of Tony '13
Rockford, IL

"Be patient with your child as he or she adjusts to their new life.  Don't be offended or worried if your child doesn't respond when you call, text or e-mail.  They are just very busy with their classes, homework and social life.  Give them space and time and you will see that your relationship with your son or daughter will be on a more mature level by the time summer rolls around.  Also, have faith knowing that your child is in a very good place at Illinois Wesleyan."

Ginny Peterson

Bill Peterson

Ginny and Bill Peterson
Parents of Ryan '08 and Chris '11
Springfield, IL

"We strongly recommend that parents encourage their sons or daughters to take full advantage of the Hart Career Center at IWU.  They will receive valuable assistance with selecting a major, writing a resume, preparing for an interview, searching for an internship and preparing for graduate school.  The guidance that our two sons have received from the staff has been priceless."

Marianne Skinner
Mother of Debbie '13
Normal, IL

"Be informed of what is happening with your individual student and with IWU in general."

Alma Trauscht
Mother of Michael '13 and Jacqueline '14
Bradley, IL

"Make sure your son/daughter has either a copy of their medical insurance card or the information written down somewhere in case they need to use medical facilities outside the campus.  Our son had to be sent outside the school's on-site facility and did not have either a card, copy or the information written down.  The information was in his file at the University, but the Arnold Health Service had to contact us, his parents, to get the information from us."