Chaotic settings are characterized by high levels of noise, crowding, instability, and lack of structure and predictability. I discuss why chaos is harmful to children, focusing on the disruption of proximal processes. Proximal processes are the exchanges of energy between the developing child and the persons, objects, and symbols in their immediate environment. In order to be effective, proximal processes need to occur regularly, over extended periods of time, and involve progressively more complex, reciprocal interactions as they child matures. The occurrence as well as the predictability and sustainability of effective proximal processes are challenged by chaotic circumstances.