Latest Parenting Trend: The CTFD Method

Latest Parenting Trend: The CTFD Method

David Vienna breaks down the hottest trend in parenting right now—The “Calm The F*** Down” method. And he’s talking about you, not your kids

I know many people want to stay current with the latest parenting trends—attachment parenting, minimalist parenting, Tiger Mother parenting, et al. Well, I’ve stumbled upon a new technique that will guarantee your child grows up to be an exemplary student and citizen. It’s called CTFD, which stands for “Calm The Fuck Down.” And that’s not a message to give your kids. It’s for you.

Using CTFD assures you that—whichever way you choose to parent—your child will be fine (as long as you don’t abuse them, of course). To see it in action, here are some sample parenting scenarios and how CTFD can be employed:

  • Worried your friend’s child has mastered the alphabet quicker than your child? Calm the fuck down.
  • Scared you’re not imparting the wisdom your child will need to survive in school and beyond? Calm the fuck down.
  • Concerned that you’re not the type of parent you thought you’d be? Calm the fuck down.
  • Upset that your child doesn’t show interest in certain areas of learning? Calm the fuck down.
  • Stressed that your child exhibits behavior in public you find embarrassing? Calm the fuck down.

Yes, using the CTFD method, you’ll find the pressure lifted and realize your child loves you no matter what, even if they’ve yet to master the alphabet. You’ll also learn that whether or not you’re the best parent in the world, as long as you love your child, they’ll think you are and that’s what matters. Plus, CTFD makes you immune to those that prey upon the fears of new parents, like pseudoscientists and parenting authors.

To use CTFD, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Calm the fuck down.
  2. There is no second step.

So, ignore all those other parenting trends and stick to CTFD. You’ll be glad you did and so will your kid.


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Originally appeared on; Credit: Image—Joseph Choi/Flickr

About David Vienna

Screenwriter and playwright David Vienna writes about parenting issues at His book, Calm The F*ck Down, hits shelves in 2015 (published by Knock Knock). He loves E.L.O., ’70s horror films, Philly cheese steaks, and napping.


  1. wellokaythen says:

    Excellent advice for worry-wart parents.

    I was somewhat disappointed that “CTFD” here only applies to parents’ behavior. I’d love to see a lot more of CTFD applied to what their kids do in public.

  2. Great advise to parents that are overly hands on with every aspect of their children’s lives.

    Great advise to parents that are worried that they aren’t sure if they’re doing the right things for the kids.

    Great advise to parents who are stressed because others are telling them they aren’t doing enough for their kids.

    SHITTY advise to those (few) parents that take a complete hands-off philosophy. I have seen kids that are spoiled rotten, disruptive, and downright disrespectful because the parents have fully embraced the extreme CTFD position of DGAD in the name of not wanting to curb the child’s sense of self and creativity.

  3. Loved this… now to practice it will be the challenge:)

  4. toxictom says:

    So does this mean we’re not supposed to use STFU method anymore?

    • Love this! I’ve use the CTFD method of parenting for the past 30 years. My husband is a WUID (Worry Until I Die) parent. Luckily I have don’t most of the parenting. I have a good relationships with our children today. He’s still busy worrying. When we had three teenage girls at home I said things like “no ones in jail or pregnant it’s been a great week.” Did they always do things the way I wanted them to? Nope. After they became adults I spent a lot of time saying things like “choices determine consequences” Come to think of it I said that a lot before they were adults. To my husband i would “she’s over 21 and married. It’s none of our business.” Today my favorite phrase is “You’re a full grown woman and I know your capable of making a good decision.” Did they all grow up and go to college? Nope. Are they having what appears to be happy lives today? Yep. Isn’t that what we all want? Happy children. Even WUID parent always said “I just want them to be happy.” So everyone just CTFD!

  5. Kids throwing loud tantrum in public and bothering other people? CTFD
    Kids running around without control being loud and being a nuisance to others? CTFD
    Kids smearing poop on your walls? CTFD

    For everything else, there’s a parent who may be a bit too lazy to be a parent.

    • Jon Jay Obermark says:

      Right, because being frantically apologetic or loudly angry or anything in between that does not qualify as ‘calm’ ever helped resolve and curtail such situations.

      You should surely let that kid smearing poop on your walls know that he has decided what you are doing for the next hour. Because he needs a power trip at your expense. It will surely develop his respect for you. And that will definitely transfer to those around him.

    • Jon Jay Obermark says:

      Actually, sorry to be snide. “There is no second step” is lazy. My parents’ next few steps were:

      2) Make sense
      3) Make peace
      4) Make sure the kid understands what you did in step 2

    • Lazy parenting? Are you kidding? I don’t know one single lazy parent. Tired ones, exhausted, overwhelmed? Yes. Lazy, never seen one. We should all lighten up on EACH OTHER. That’s the point of the entire article, dudes. Lighten.The.F.Up. Everybody. Put aside your judgment, your pride, your brilliance, your seeming knowledge of what others should do and have a little tolerance for yourself and your kids. Nothing good or meaningful was ever accomplished through force, coercion, meanness, retaliation, screaming, threatening, bargaining, self-righteous finger wagging or shaming. Trust me! I’ve been on both ends of all of it and the author is right. Just calm down. Say a little prayer, get some professional help if you need to but most importantly lighten up. Good Lord. Ask some parents who’ve had the tragic misfortune to lose a kid if they wished they had disciplined them more or been more demanding and harsh and given more of a crap about what strangers thing. Hell no They wouldn’t! They ALWAYS wish they’d let shit GO! Like you all should. Let it go. Life is short. Love is the answer to literally EVERYTHING. Love. Love yourself, love your kids, love your enemies, love it all. Cuz nothing lasts forever–except, of course, LOVE.

  6. Made my day!!!!!

  7. Bravo!!!! Bra mother effing Vo!!!!

    The CTFD method…

    Thank you for this!


  8. I think this is excellent advice. Appropriate for most areas of life. If you look at the examples, most of them are some derivative of what will others think of me, as a parent when my kid does….. Usually that is the same as when my friends do… Or my spouse does…. Then one should practice GTFOY.

  9. Tiffany Freaken Burke says:

    SO good to see the way I parent finally getting a “clinical name.” CTFD is my favorite way of parenting and takes away a lot of unnecessary stress.

    Stress increases your fat cells, ain’t nobody got time for more of that.

    Thanks for the best post.

    Calmed the fuck down as we speak.

  10. Tom Brechlin says:

    I’m sure you’re not saying that some good advise from others wasn’t welcome. My mom was great. After our first child, daughter, was brought home and my mom came to help my wife, she made it clear that it was our child and not hers. Accordingly she let my wife learn as she went along. Through trials and errors, ya learn.

    I do remember some people belly aching about how my daughter wasn’t yet potty trained. As you know that can be stressful on all of us and given the fact that we’d become so proficient in changing diapers, it was no big deal one way or another. The best information we were given was from our pediatrician. 1.) Does she wake up in the morning with a wet diaper? If she does, then her body hasn’t learned to hold it. 2.) Don’t stress the kid out. How many times have you heard people say that they sat the child down on the potty chair for while and no more then they stood up, they peed? Why? Because they relax and when they relax ….

    So I guess what I’m saying is that I agree with you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny….looking back,now that they are almost grown, I am finally practicing CTFD. went through the criticism about my kids’ use of binkies til they were older than others found acceptable. Their pediatrician said that in 25 years he had never seen a kid graduate high school with one in his or her mouth so stop worrying about it. I missed a lot of present moment joy worrying about such silly stuff and missed some of the big ones when they came along. Now I tell my kids that there will be therapy and support groups when they are adults so everything will be fine 🙂

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