A Message for Parents

From John Eccles, vice president and dean for student development

Our Tight-Knit, Caring Community

We work extremely hard to offer a value-added educational experience to your student. We offer programs and activities that support and complement their academic interests. We strive to provide a safe and secure environment, and we work to empower students to take responsibility for this community, their actions, and their learning.

At LC we see this relationship as a partnership, and all partnerships require both parties to contribute equally to the task. All students must see themselves as a critical part of this community. If they miss class, fail to turn in an assignment, or don’t follow through on a task for an organization, then they have not only let themselves down, they have also let their fellow students down.

Talking to Your Kids

This generation of students stays in pretty close contact with you, the parent. In many ways, this can be a positive outlet for questions and frustrations, as well as the sharing of joys and accomplishments. I’m sure there will be nights when you get an ear full and will naturally want to help them.

As a parent, the hardest thing that I had to do was step back and let my kids (all three of them) run into a wall (often one I had already warned them about), bounce off of it, cry a little, and then begin to piece together how they might better approach that obstacle in their life. As a parent, I have picked them up, dusted them off, listened to them, helped them generate possible options, and then quietly patted them on the back and sent them off. Sometimes they hit the same wall a few times before they figured things out. (My wife often assigned that particular trait to my gene pool.)

But ultimately, they learned because they figured it out themselves. In a nutshell, that is our philosophy here at Lynchburg College.

And as you talk with your student in those late-night phone conversations, you might ask some of the following questions:

  • Have you talked to the person who you are having trouble with? How did it go?
  • Have you sought advice and direction? From whom? How did it go? What did they tell you?
  • What do you see as your options?
  • Have you discussed this issue with Residence Life/your Connection Leader/Campus Safety and Security/your coach/your favorite professor/your academic advisor?
  • Have you talked with someone in the Health Center/the Counseling Center/the Chaplain’s Office?
  • What do you want to do? What is your timeline for action?

Recruit Help When You’re Worried!

Here at LC, there is always someone willing to help. On those rare occasions when you have red lights going off in the “Parent Worry” center of your brain, please contact us. We will listen to you, hear your concerns, and suggest options.

Even if those warning lights go off late at night and/or over the weekend, there are still resources available to you. If it is a safety issue please direct your son or daughter to Campus Safety and Security and/or Residence Life. We have personnel on call 24/7 and will respond to your concerns as best we can. Of course, if you just want to call and tell us how much your son or daughter is thriving at LC, we’ll take that call, too!

Thank you for sharing your daughters and sons with us. We are privileged to be a part of their development. I have been at Lynchburg College since 1986, and I have found no community that focuses on the development of students more than we do. We change lives, but our lives are changed also.

We look forward to a life-long relationship with your students and with you, too!