The Family Firm Book Summary - The Family Firm Book explained in key points
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The Family Firm summary

Emily Oster

A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years

4 (65 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

The Family Firm by Emily Oster is a data-driven guide that explains how to make informed decisions about parenting based on information and statistics. It provides a valuable perspective that can help parents make choices that fit their family's unique needs and lifestyle.

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    The Family Firm
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    Getting enough sleep is the foundation for your child’s success and well-being.

    In addition to being a parent, the author is also an economist. She specializes in looking at how we can use data to make better decisions. But data doesn’t only exist in economics. As the author has found out, scientific studies have a lot to teach us about hot-button parenting topics, including something as universal as sleep.

    Everyone on the planet needs to sleep, and your child is no exception. But sleep isn’t just about recharging a child’s batteries; studies show that it’s crucial for their development and well-being.

    One study that looked at 3,000 high-school students in Rhode Island found that children who had less sleep and later bedtimes also got the worst grades. Not only that, but these children were also more likely to suffer from depression.

    The key message here is: Getting enough sleep is the foundation for your child’s success and well-being.

    The link between grades and sleep time isn’t a simple one. A 2010 meta-analysis that looked at the sleep habits of 20,000 children found that the biggest predictor of academic performance wasn’t actually the amount of sleep. Instead, it was children’s levels of daytime sleepiness. This suggests that each child may need different amounts of sleep to get them through the day without feeling sleepy.

    But does poor sleep actually cause poor performance in school? Could another factor, such as poverty, cause both poor sleep and poor grades? Luckily, researchers have come up with an answer.

    In one experiment, researchers asked children between the ages of eight and twelve to sleep one hour less each night for a whole week. Then, the following week, the researchers asked the children to sleep one hour more. Now, this might not sound very much. After all, many children often wind up having an hour more or less sleep per night, depending on their schedule. But surprisingly, the researchers discovered that this one hour makes all the difference. At the end of the week in which the children slept less, they performed worse on memory and math tests and also had more emotional outbursts.

    This study suggests that, even within the recommended range of nightly sleep time, more is probably better. For kids in elementary school, around 11 hours is a good idea.

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    What is The Family Firm about?

    The Family Firm (2021) explores the latest research on pre-teen child development. It explains how parents can make data-driven decisions on important parenting decisions like a child’s school, bedtime, diet, and extracurricular schedule.

    The Family Firm Review

    The Family Firm (2021) sheds light on the inner workings of family-owned businesses, exploring the challenges and advantages they face. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Providing insights from real family firms, it offers valuable lessons that can be applied to any business, enhancing our understanding of this unique organizational structure.
    • By examining the interplay between family dynamics and business decisions, the book delves into the complexities of succession planning and the importance of effective communication.
    • Through in-depth research and compelling case studies, it offers a nuanced perspective on family-owned businesses, dispelling common misconceptions and painting a multifaceted picture.

    Who should read The Family Firm?

    • Parents of children ages five to twelve
    • Educators looking for a fresh perspective
    • Psychology buffs seeking new insights

    About the Author

    Emily Oster is an economist and bestselling author. She is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and holds a PhD from Harvard University. Her previous book, Expecting Better, explores a data-driven approach to decision-making during pregnancy.

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    The Family Firm FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Family Firm?

    The main message of The Family Firm is the potential benefits and challenges of running a family business.

    How long does it take to read The Family Firm?

    The reading time for The Family Firm varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Family Firm a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Family Firm is worth reading because it provides valuable insights into the dynamics and complexities of family businesses.

    Who is the author of The Family Firm?

    The author of The Family Firm is Emily Oster.

    What to read after The Family Firm?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Family Firm, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Untangle Your Emotions by Jennie Allen
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • Boost! by Michael Bar-Eli
    • Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
    • Cribsheet by Emily Oster
    • How to Stop Procrastinating by Steve Scott