I think a lot of us who are parents really have one primary goal: Not to screw up our kids. I mean, its not like they come with a manual or anything, and God knows I often have no idea what I'm doing as a parent. But at the end of the day if our son can just be a happy, good person, that works for me.
Anyway, someone once told me this story with regard to good parenting. There was a kid in elementary school, and every time he did his homework his handwriting was a mess. His parents kept telling him to do better, made him practice, and drilled him endlessly to no avail. Finally his parents came into school to see his teacher. His father held up a sheet of the kid's homework. "Look at what a mess this is!" The teacher looked at it thoughtfully, and then pointed to a single letter on the page. "That," he said pointedly, "is a perfect 'O'."
The point? We spent so much time focusing on what's wrong that its hard sometimes to make ourselves see what's right. I try to keep reminding myself of that story, especially when my son is being a crazy toddler who intentionally seems to be trying to make me nuts.
Beyond that - I think its important that we look for our own "perfect 'O'" too. Right now, most areas of my house are kind of a mess. The garage is a disaster, my office needs a complete cleaning, and the cabinets are a tragedy. BUT, I cleaned my clothes closet this weekend, and it looks awesome. That is my "perfect 'O'" right now.