The Atlantic

How a Negotiation Expert Would Bargain With a Kid

Some tactical suggestions for managing volatile, sometimes nonsensical negotiation partners
Source: LightField Studios / Shutterstock / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

One common feature of negotiations is that each party has the ability to walk away. Don’t like the offer the car salesperson is making you? Drive another five minutes to the next dealership. Don’t like the terms a business partner presents you with? Get in touch with another supplier.

But every day many people find themselves sitting across the table from a negotiation partner they can’t abandon or replace: their kids.

How might parents manage these often fraught, exasperating conversations in which their counterpart, lacking self-awareness, sometimes seems to think it strategic to ? I posed this question to Michael Wheeler, who has been teaching the principles of negotiation at Harvard Business

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
‘News From Here Doesn’t Go Out’: Kashmir Simmers Under Lockdown
There have been daily protests since August 5, when the Indian government revoked the region’s special status.
The Atlantic9 min readSociety
America Moved On From Its Gay-Rights Moment—And Left a Legal Mess Behind
Half a decade after the Supreme Court’s same-sex-marriage decision, the justices and Congress are still trying to figure out what federal law should say about LGBTQ rights.
The Atlantic5 min readScience
A Tissue Sample From 1966 Held Traces of Early HIV
To understand the virus’s history, a team worked to reconstruct its genome from a time before anyone knew the virus existed.