Family life

Calm the Eff Down sums up my parenting style

Is the Calm the F*ck Down parenting trend good advice or just another fad? Here is what our stay-at-home mom blogger thinks.

keepcalmtrustyourgut[1] Graphic designed by Jennifer Pinarski.

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

Over the weekend, a couple of friends sent me the recent Huffington Post article by dad blogger David Vienna. He discusses a new parenting technique he stumbled across that will revolutionize the way you parent. It's referred to as Calm the F*ck Down (CTFD), and there are just two steps to the method:

1. Calm the f*ck down.

2. There is no second step.

In his HuffPost Live interview, Vienna revealed to panelist Caitlyn Becker that his original decision to inform parents about the CTFD method came about because he found that most of us took developmental milestones too seriously. For example, he wrote, "[are] worried your friend's child has mastered the alphabet quicker than your child? Calm the f*ck down.”

Vienna's audience, however, either didn't share his sense of humour or just lacked common sense. Huffington Post user "sgillhoolley" writes:

“What's that, young Johnny is drinking draino?!? CTFD... you can always have another kid. Little Suzie has started selling herself in the washroom at school?!? CTFD, at least she is learning a trade. It takes a special kinda deluded to think that doing nothing is the best way to go."


And that was only one of the hundreds of comments pitching probable disasters — one of which included a reference to a child getting stuck in a wood chipper. Seriously, a wood chipper? Unless you’re a lumberjack, the odds of your child getting stuck in a wood chipper are slim. In fact, I know a lumberjack. Maybe it would shock some people to know that his children spend time at his wood lot and still have all their limbs attached.

To me, the Calm the F*ck Down method is just another way to say "trust your gut." Granted, CTFD trumps "trust your gut" because it has a potty word in it, but the premise is the same. Gordon Marino, a philosophy professor at Olaf College and a panelist during Vienna’s interview, believes that humans are nurturing by instinct — which is, above all, what children really need.

If you’ve read my blog for awhile now or know me in real life, you’ll know that there is very little that I worry about. So, if there was such a thing as being an early adopter of CTFD, then I’m it.

I’ve written about letting my six-year-old son go into a men’s washroom by himself and allowing my daughter run around barefoot in public. And, without fail, there were a few parents who worried that my son would be sexually abused or that my daughter would step on a used hypodermic needle. But guess what? They haven’t, and I fully credit the simplicity of the CTFD method. For example, my son and I were in a family restaurant where we know the staff and regular customers. If we were at a truck stop on the side of the highway in a foreign country, I’d absolutely make him go in women’s washroom with me (and make sure that my daughter was wearing shoes), because my instinct is to protect my children from harm. Just as I’m sure that is your instinct as well. Today’s generation of kids will turn out just fine if we love them and allow them to be adventurous.

That being said, if you’re married to a lumberjack, just don't give your kids the manual for the wood chipper — instead, show them how to use it safely.

This article was originally published on Jul 22, 2013

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