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How to Negotiate With Kids at Dinner

This Heinz Ketchup Ad Accurately Depicts Dinnertime Like the Suspenseful Episode of Dateline It Is

No offense to seasoned detectives, CIA secret agents, or antiterrorism operatives, but being a parent? To a young child? That's some stressful sh*t right there.

So, when Heinz tapped a veteran NYPD crisis negotiator to help mediate dinnertime struggles, I was less than impressed. A staggering 62 percent of parents say they actually negotiate with their kids to get them to eat their dinner, so what could this Lt. Jack Cambria know that I haven't already tried?

But in the above video — which, while hilarious, feels like a particularly suspenseful episode of Dateline — he does mention a scenario that we hadn't yet even considered.

"I'm here to help in case you find yourself in a tough spot . . . like you've got kids to feed . . . and you run out of ketchup."

Oh, no.

With the help of a family (otherwise known as two parents held hostage by a chicken nugget-yielding preschooler), Cambria then outlines the requisite tactics — from "emotional labeling" to "creating a mutual enemy" — that have led to successful negotiations with some of the "toughest minds out there." Toddlers included.

Read on for more pro tips. And if these don't help, there's an actual 24-hour hotline (1-844-HEINZ11) for on-demand advice on how to negotiate with the toughest opponent . . . your kids.

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