Data-Driven Decisions for Your Family with Emily Oster

Data-Driven Decisions for Your Family with Emily Oster



Economist and author, Emily Oster. separates the facts from fiction by helping parents streamline their family decisions by using statistical data.

I’m so excited to be connecting with this week’s guest: economics professor and author, Emily Oster. Having devoured her first two books on pregnancy, Expecting Better and Cribsheet, I couldn’t wait to read her newest masterpiece. The Family Firm, an exploration of how to parent the early school years, did not disappoint. I knew I had to have her on the show to delve deeper into the subject of running your ever-evolving family as though it were business. 

We cover every issue over the elementary period, from the importance of choosing the “best” school for your child, to nutrition, sleep, and how to help your children step into independence while providing a safe, supportive environment for them to thrive.

Show Notes:

  • We need to think through what our day to day should look like in order to align on our family mission statement

  • Identify family priorities and then get specific and lay out when those priorities will be met

  • Emily's decision framework includes 4 steps: 1. Ask "or what"? 2. Fact find and locate the relevant data. 3. Pick an end point for making the decision and stop yourself from rethinking it. 4. Follow up and plan to evaluate decisions, but don't rethink it until a determined time.

  • When examining evidence around feeding children, it's important to frame priorities for how you want them to eat in the future, and start those habits from a young age

  • To expand kid's flavor window try offering a tasty dip along with veggies, continue to expose them to different flavors, and strive for positive associations with trying new foods

  • For Emily's family, sleep and family meals are the major priorities that other decisions are made to support

  • Consider the parenting style you want to emit, and what levels of responsibility you want to give your children, then step back and let them grow and build independence

  • Keep the data central to decision making for families, and don't be swayed by far off notions, like starting soccer for your second grader will secure them Ivy League scholarships

  • When approaching screen time, find a happy medium where screen access is age appropriate and regulated


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