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Does Your Child Say This? “Whatever.“

By James Lehman, MSW

Does Your Child Say This? "Whatever."

Kids generally say “whatever” to their parents when they’ve already lost the argument. It’s a final attempt to push the parent’s button and to get back at you in some small way for something that your child doesn’t like. Your best bet is to ignore it. If a kid says "whatever," the odds are that the point has already been decided and you’re in charge of the situation. "Whatever" is their way of trying to save a little face. If you’ve come out on top, don’t compromise your position by letting them draw you into an argument. To challenge it is not effective. If you give it power, you’re losing the ground that you’ve already gained.

Child: “Whatever.”

Translation: “It doesn’t bother me/I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.”

Ineffective response: “What do you mean, ‘whatever?’ Let me tell you something, young lady…”

Effective response: Ignore it, smile and turn around and walk away. You’ve already won the fight.

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About James Lehman, MSW

James Lehman, who dedicated his life to behaviorally troubled youth, created The Total Transformation® Program, The Complete Guide to Consequences™, Getting Through To Your Child™, and Two Parents One Plan™, from a place of professional and personal experience. Having had severe behavioral problems himself as a child, he was inspired to focus on behavioral management professionally. Together with his wife, Janet Lehman, he developed an approach to managing children and teens that challenges them to solve their own problems without hiding behind disrespectful, obnoxious or abusive behavior. Empowering Parents now brings this insightful and impactful program directly to homes around the globe.

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