I would first like to say that in my opinion, there isn't such thing precisely as a calm house with children in it (except maybe naptime, on those occasions when I actually get both of them to sleep at the same time). I, like you, grew up in a hectic ednvironment. My mother was a single mom, who raised me through colored glasses, tainted by severe depression, suicidal tendencies, and anorexia. But I give her much credit, that all the while she didn't love herself, she certainly loved me. I have carried that love over into my parenting. I don't believe in molding my kids. People think my boistrous and loud 3 yr old is annoying and unkept, but I look at it like this: my daughter loves me. I give her the space and respect she deserves to just be herself. If I was always telling her to be quiet, and don't do this or that, or spanking her, she certainly wouldn't be the butterfly she has become. She isn't afraid to be curious, and she has good self esteem. And she is the most sensitive, caring little girl I personaly have ever met. One thing that has helped me is this: I gave birth to her. During that first yr or so, she was still a part of me. I held her, and soothed her, and nursed her. As she grew into herself, I had to learn to let go too. She is no longer a limb, or attatchment of myself. She is her own, beautiful little self. She knows exactly what she wants. I do need to remind her here and there to be "respectful" of others, but then, that word can be applied to many different things depepnding on who is using it. My advice is to just love your child. Understand that kids will be kids because they are kids. And, if you have visited a public school lately, those parents who swear they are doing everything right, are often the parents of the kids that are name calling, or throwing things. Don't be too hard on yourself. I don't believe parenting is about structure. Keeping your children safe, and loving your children unconditionally is your job. Flexibility, and sympathetic understanding are important tools. And as long as you aren't abusing your children, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, about you or your kids. I don't know how old your dd is, but one of the values I am instilling in my daughter is SELF-respect. I think this lesson should come as soon as (if not sooner) the respect others thing. The old saying you have to love yourself before you can love another has rung very true to me in my life. I think lack of self love has caused many problems in our world today. If your dd is crystal clear about how she likes to be treated and regarded, the rest will fall into place naturally. Maybe this is an area you should particularly work on, since these ideals are fuzzy for yourself. Sit down with a notebook, and really figure out exactly what your boundries are with others. Once you have done that, it will be easier for you to understand how to teach your dd about self love and respect.