Why This Is The Moment To Make Your Family ‘Mission Statement’

The past year and a half has been long, hard and logistically bonkers for families with young kids at home.

While the pandemic certainly isn’t over, many parents do feel a huge sense of relief as we inch closer to what looks like (for now, at least) a more typical school year. Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for kids around the country to return to the classroom. At the same time, many parents who haven’t already returned to the office for work will likely do so to some degree this fall.

Although being able to slide back into old routines might feel pretty darn glorious, economist and parenting guru Emily Oster suggests that doing so without pausing to consider your family’s “big picture” is a mistake.

Oster’s new book, The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years, provides a framework for parents of 5- to 12-year-olds when it comes to making decisions on everything from nutrition to when kids should get their first phones. She believes this is a moment when many families would benefit from creating mission statements – and she’s got a practical guide for what they should entail.

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Emily Oster’s new book urges families to make mission statements.

“With all of the terrible things that have gone on over the past 18 months, there is an opportunity, as we move out of this, to have important conversations even in families where routines have been long established,” the author told HuffPost. “What are the things we were doing before that we want to go back to? What are the things we were doing before that we think, ‘You know what? Actually, I didn’t miss that.’ It is a real opportunity for that kind of reflection to happen.”

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