kmc, I second the kudos for your honesty and straight talk. Finding the right balance between how much control to exert versus trusting the law of natural consequences is never easy. It depends on the kidís strengths and weaknesses, the parentís strengths and weaknesses, and the interactive dynamics between the personalities involved, not to mention weighing the downside risk of failure. We each have our own parenting style and those with multiple kids usually have multiple parenting styles because what works for one child may not be effective for another child. Over the years, I have used trial and error to see what might prod S2 to greater academic achievement. If I had to judge by the results, the only conclusion to be reached is that being a motivational leader is not my calling. All we can do is keep trusting our gut and let the solutions evolve as new information unfolds.