Jessica Smock

I'm a freelance writer with a doctorate in education policy and development,... read more

5 Stages of Toddler Nap Grief

  There  is very little that a parent of a toddler looks forward to with more eagerness than the afternoon nap.  Bedtime is a close second, but bedtime can often be accompanied by more crankiness, overtiredness, and a longer sets of rituals than naptime....more

Why Kids Should Feel Safe At School (Even If We're Still Afraid)

I thought I was done thinking about Sandy Hook for a while....more

Why FX's 'The Americans' Is TV's Best Show About Marriage and Family

Prepare to forget everything you think you know about Keri Russell and her role as an introspective college student who got the most famous haircut in primetime television history.  Felicity is all grown up now.  And she's a spy.  Not a hero spy either.On FX's new hit show The Americans, she plays Elizabeth Jennings, a Soviet spy in an arranged marriage of convenience with her husband Phillip (played by Matthew Rhys, of ABC's Brothers and Sisters), who's also a spy....more
This is my new favorite show and you have articulately illustrated exactly why. I'm fascinated ...more

'The Walking Dead' Returns: How New Parenthood Is Like The Zombie Apocalypse

I see my life -- as the parent of a 1.5 year old -- in the characters' quest for survival.  The show tells the story of a small band of survivors after modern society has been destroyed by a zombie outbreak.  What "The Walking Dead" is really about -- its theme -- is about  keeping your humanity and spirit in the face of hardship and a complete disruption of your previous world....more

Having '30 Rock' Withdrawals? 6 Lessons for Parents From Liz Lemon

You might be thinking that you'll miss 30 Rock for lots of different reasons:  its surrealist humor, its sharpness about popular culture, its portrait of a flawed feminist woman who didn't identify as a Sex and the City character, and its vivid portrayal of workplace relationships....more
I do not buy DVDs at all, but I am seriously considering asking for some 30 Rock seasons as ...more

Are American Parents Too Lazy To Potty Train Their Babies?

 I don't want to talk about "poop" yet with my son.Am I being a "slacker" mom because I don't want to think about potty training my 21 month old?...more

Should You Feel Guilty If Your Kid Loves TV?

Yes, I have a confession as a stay-at-home mom and researcher of education:  some of the happiest moments of my day are watching The Wonder Pets....more

How I Lost the Battle of the Binky

 I've lost rounds one, two, and three with the pacifier....more

Would Your Kid Be Lost or Liberated in a "Flipped" Classroom?

 Would a "flipped" classroom help your children or students improve their learning?  Or it just another passing, overhyped fad in education?Parents today want instruction customized and individualized to their children's learning needs and styles, and they are increasingly aware of kids' short attention spans and media sophistication.  So are flipped classrooms the answer to these trends?...more

5 Facts About Toddlers That I Never Read in a Baby Book

 When I pictured having a child before my son was born, I imagined him as either an infant -- rocking him to sleep, swaddled in blankets -- or as a young child, probably a preschooler or kindergarten being taken to the zoo or to amusement parks.  What I had very little experience with, and couldn't imagine the special challenges of, was dealing with The Toddler....more