Parenting

Jennifer Tapper

Inspired by advocacy and social justice, a mom-of-two leads by example

With a devotion to women’s and children’s health and safety issues, Jennifer Tapper, 37, finds Washington the ideal place in which to raise her family.

“With all its passionate people trying to improve the world, and those policymakers who have the power to do so, it’s one of the reasons I love living in this town,” says Tapper, mom to Alice, seven, and Jack, four. When she’s not home in Northwest DC with her kids, Tapper works as an advocacy consultant, sharing knowledge from her early professional years as a social worker. “I also volunteer with AmeriCorps’ reading partners program, helping first- and second-graders to read,” she says. “That time every week allows me to understand that people need each other, and the most important thing we can do every day is to be kind.”

That attitude lets Tapper maintain a “don’t sweat the small stuff” perspective, an approach that serves her well with her kids. “Time is short and sweet, and I want their heads to be filled with happy memories and a calm and purposeful existence,” says Tapper, who aspires to teach kids at a Montessori school. “I hope to guide my children, but also let them learn things on their own.”

Helping her along the way is her husband, Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s The Lead, and anchor for the news network. It’s clear their family bond is strong, but Tapper never overlooks the parenting assistance of other supporters: “I also rely heavily on the advice of [television’s] Supernanny, my own mother, and my mom friends, because they are the real experts.”

Tapper is one of those women who can rattle off a funny anecdote without missing a beat, and with the wise undertone of having learned a thing or two the hard way. “Despite what I heard from one particular public-radio report about the benefits for children of the game Minecraft, it should be avoided,” she laughs. “Board games are always better than an iPad; sitting down to dinner together is a must, no matter what grownup stuff is going on.”

Mom Code

Favorite movies:

This Is 40 and Sense and Sensibility.

Night on the town or quiet dinner at home?

Dinner at home—and it might not be quiet.

Signature scent:

Jo Malone.

Favorite date-night restaurant:

Buck’s Fishing and Camping.

Favorite restaurants with the kids:

American City Dinner and Comet Ping Pong.

If you could have another person’s job for a week:

KIPP DC founder and CEO Susan Schaeffler. What she accomplishes in one day would inspire the rest of my life.

Celebrity crush:

Elizabeth Banks.

Dream vacation:

Anyplace where Grandma and Grandpa come along and it’s warm.

Best gift you’ve received:

My two dogs, Winnie and PJ.

App you rely on:

CNN.

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