jayleew: I read through most of the thread before I decided to post and thankfully came to the last reply that you just made today. I am glad that things seem to be going well. I grew up in a home where my mother was scared to death of God and didn't know how else to instill good behaviour in her children except to pass down her own fear to us and scare us into staying in line. It worked very well with me. I was the perfect one. To all observers, including my parents, I seemed happy, content, loyal, loving, kind and to all intents and purposes, the angel of the family. I was miserable. I was well behaved, but inwardly scared shitless of doing wrong--not because it went against my morals, but because I had been told certain things were bad (with no reason given) and that if I didn't obey, the Almighty would...well, actually the horrors that might befall me from his hand were left to my imagination, which was extensive. My eldest brother who was a year younger than me was the rebellious one. Turned out, however, that he just needed a dad who was logical and gave him reasons for the requested behavior and then trusted him! I know, sounds dangerous to let a child have the 'power'...but it actually taught us to reason and to think for ourselves. Nothing unreasonable was ever requested of us by dad (mom was another story) and we had also grown to trust dad because he was a stable force in our lives. What he said was what he meant, and my brother could count on that. He could tell that dad had his best interests at heart and also was open to criticism from his children. We rarely used this authority that he had given us, but knowing that he was humble enough to trust our opinions, even when we were very young...that gave us a great respect for and trust in him. It also means that to this day, though we still question and research for ourselves, if dad asks us to look into something, we will invariably choose to do so. If he has valid criticism, we listen. 'Using' religion to scare someone into behaving is something I would not recommend. My mother is still scarred to this day and has never broken free of her fear of her god. I am glad you chose not to use it... Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! In the end, I think it is more about inspiring a child to want to obey rather than scaring them into obedience. I believe the first is most likely the longest lasting and healthiest option for all involved. Good luck! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!