In the course of our parenting lives, we make a whole lot of decisions, so when I read Emily Oster’s most recent book The Family Firm, which offers a very smart, data-driven method to decision making, I really wanted to chat with her on our Spawned podcast.

But then I caught wind of a few articles discussing her pandemic-centered research that were a bit controversial. I mean, you can’t not discuss an article that’s titled How Emily Oster Became One of the Most Respected—and Reviled—Voices in the Pandemic not to mention her recent piece We Need to Admit Masking Kids at School Has Some Downsides. 

So, on this episode, we chat about these pieces and perhaps what have been some pandemic fails (which may raise some eyebrows), as well as her approach to decision making and data in parenting, based on her newest book, The Family Firm

You can listen to this concise, but lively conversation right now, and then be sure you’re a Spawned subscriber so you never miss an episode. Have you left us a review yet? It’s super helpful and only takes a minute or two.

A conversation with Emily Oster, author of The Family Firm on Spawned podcast


We love our sponsors: KidsBeeTV and Vrbo

KidsBeeTV is a safe app full of cool content, just for kids! | sponsor

KidsBeeTV is a surprising, fun, and safe app designed for kids up to 7 years old, that stimulates learning, promotes diversity, and brings families together. All the content on KidsBeeTV is selected by teachers and other specialists, and filtered by age to make things easier for parents!

KidsBeeTV has lots of kids’ favorite songs, learning videos, activities, and popular shows, like Pinkfong, Sunny Bunnies, Lottie Dottie Chicken, Molang, and more.Plus, with the holidays around the corner, they’ve put together some super cool holiday  playlists that kids will love!

Go to to start your free trial, or search KIDSBEETV at your favorite app store. 


4 ways to get kids involved in family vacation planning: Check out the 2022 Trend Report from VRBO | sponsor

We’re so excited to welcome Vrbo as a sponsor, especially considering we’ve loved and used them for our own family vacations for many years. They’ve launched their 2022 Trend Report, which is full of interesting findings.

As it turns out, half of the families surveyed said they’re more likely to let their kids decide where they vacation, compared to pre-pandemic times. They’re also more likely to let their kids invite a friend (one in three!), and 43% of parents said they’re more likely to let their kids skip school for vacation (shhhh!). But one thing’s the same as always: 61% of those surveyed said they are more likely to require their children to disconnect from their devices on vacation, which is definitely made a whole lot easier when kids had a say in the activities.

To read their 2022 Trend Report, or to make a reservation for your next trip (tell us where you’re going!), head over to their website.

Our Cool Picks of the Week

Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Pie by Cleobuttera

Image from Cleobuttera (her recipe is the best!)

Emily: The Paprika app, which we’ve featured on Cool Mom Eats.

Kristen: That DIY Reese’s peanut butter cup pie. Move over, pumpkin pie!

Cool Mom Picks is an amazon affiliate. Top photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash