Eliminate this Word from Your Vocabulary!

iStock_000020533079SmallAs a young parent I refused to allow my children to use one particular word. The word was often accompanied by eyes rolled upward in disgust, or occasionally with a shrug of indifference.

Unfortunately the word and the attitude it communicates permeates our society, cripples initiative, and paralyzes personal growth. I challenge you to eliminate the word from your thinking and your vocabulary.

The word is “whatever.

What would you like to eat tonight I asked my teenage daughter?

Her eyes rolled toward some distant constellation and with a snort of indifference she snapped, “Whatever!”  Waiting for her when she came to the table that night was a bowl of cat food.

“Gross! What is this?”

“It is something I chose from the “Whatever” category.”

Another example.

“I would like you to be home by 10 tonight.”

Now the response drips with disgust.


That night I chose 6pm from the “whatever” category.

I even got the “whatever” response one night when I said, “I love you” to one of my children.  It was on that night that word was banned from our home. Here is why it should be banned period.

The word communicates one of the following attitudes, none of which anyone but a sloth would want attributed to them.

I don’t care.
I don’t have an opinion.
I lack respect for your opinion.
I am resigned to circumstances.
I am either unwilling or unable to express myself.

The opposite of these attitudes are the foundation for personal and social strength and progress.

I do care.
I have an opinion.
I respect your views though I may disagree.
I will rise above my circumstances.
I will work to express my ideas and argue effectively for what I believe is right.

The same daughters who used the word “whatever” so freely as teenagers have raised spectacular children who do not speak the forbidden word.  None of them have ever been offered cat food or have had a 6pm curfew.

What do you think?

Please do not respond with “whatever!”