The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years

Penguin Pr. Aug. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781984881755. $28. CHILD REARING
Oster’s (economics, Brown Univ.; Cribsheet) latest is a guide to the many decisions faced by parents and caregivers of kids aged five to 12. The book defines the four F’s of decision making: frame the question; fact find; final decision; follow up. Its premise is that a family with defined operating practices can make small decisions more easily. Oster describes creating a mission statement for your “family firm,” honoring your values and priorities, and then carrying out the details using software, calendars, and schedules. The book includes case studies of real parents’ decisions about school choice or social media use, plus a reading list and worksheets that might be helpful.
VERDICT This quick read can help parents form a decision making framework. Some of the book’s topics (camp, cell phones, etc.) don’t adequately address an economically diverse readership, limiting the audience for this book.
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