Magazine Article “How to respond to Whatev-ah” on BBC News Magazine:
Parents and teachers are concerned about the constant use of ‘whatever’ as a challenging answer, expressing apathy and total disinterestedness. Uttered by a majority of alienated teenagers, it seems to be an easy way to run away from a more serious conversation with the parents or teachers, or to get away with something they have done.
“It’s a catch-all response which can mean many things, commonly “I don’t care”, but also “this is the end of the conversation” or “say what you want, I’ve got no position on this subject”. (Tom Geoghegan, BBC News Magazine).
Answering “whatever” is not the same as answering back. I would risk saying that a teen who answers ‘whatever’ might have learned it ‘at home’- I’ll explain: I believe our society’s new parents are too easygoing and friendly with their children. Come on. We all know some (or a lot of) parents who allow their children to do something simply to avoid an argument, because they are way too tired to get into the stress of a family discussion. “Whatever” is just like that. People too tired, lazy or unworried who just say whatever because they are not willing to get into a serious, boring discussion with their teachers or parents, or worst of all, a generation who cannot think and argument to defend their point of view.