Do you get worked up over parenting challenges? CTFD. I am not calm as a rule; energetic on a good day translates toÂ freaked-out on a bad day. More likely, itÂ is moment by moment of me trying not to yell at the children or panic that I’ve actually broken my eldest child (ever heard of the first pancake theory of parenting? Yikes).
So I LOVE David Vienna’s simple and concise parenting mantra for everyday parenting dilemmas:Â Calm the F*ck Down: The Only Parenting Technique You’ll Ever Need.Â Started as a fed-up blog post about parenting angst and over-complicated solutions, David clearly struck a nerve with parents. His CTFD philosophy blossomed into a full-blown, cute-as-heck, giftable book for yourSELF.
I asked David to share some of his wisdom with us today. And he calmly agreed.
ME: Tell me what first inspired the blog post about CTFD?
DAVID: Shortly after the Tiger Mother thing hit popular culture, I heard a story on NPR about minimalist parenting. The two things seemed so ridiculously opposed to each other, I actually got kinda mad. I got mad at “experts” who preyed on scared parents and I got mad at parents for being scared. After stewing on it for a while, I wrote The CTFD Method as a kind of satire of parenting fears and parenting methods in general. And I guess I wrote it for myself, too, because I was a scared parent.
ME: Tell me about a time you ate your own dog food (followed your own advice)?
DAVID: Our son Wyatt wasn’t getting the hang of reading as fast as our son Boone. I started to worry that he might not keep up with other kids in his class. But, I stopped myself and remembered each kid develops at their own pace. So, I didn’t stress about it. We just made sure he kept up with his homework. Now, he’s able to read and even writes his own stories.
ME: Now lets hear about a time you were completely uncalm even knowing that you’re the poster child of effing calm?
DAVID: When our boys were babies, I prided myself on being able to quickly change a diaper. Boone was fussing and I knew he needed a clean one, so I swept up up onto the changing table. I turned and started barking commands at my wife and mother-in-law like, “Hand me those wipes. And get me a diaper, STAT! Move, people. Move!” They both just stared at me. I turned back to Boone and I saw I was dangling him up in the air by his ankles. His face was bright red, throwing an absolute fit.
Thanks so much David. OMMM.
What more David Vienna? BuyÂ Calm the F*ck Down: The Only Parenting Technique You’ll Ever NeedÂ on amazon and visit TheDaddyComplex.com.
[All photos by Heather Flett of the wickedly useful CTFD book in my hands]