A few times ea yr, I have to go through difficult child's rm and yank everything out. We have a pattern where his behavior improves, we slack off, he turns into a monster, and we start all over. You'd think we'd remember we have to sit on him constantly. But it's so easy to become complacent. You let one, "No!" or dirty look slide, and there's no going back. So husband took the kids to Sunday School, but instead of going to church afterward he took them out for coffee and told them they both have to shape up. easy child just got her license and is understandably a bit wiggy. difficult child has been extremely rude and defiant lately, yelling "No!" to every single thing. So while husband was preparing them, I was stripping difficult child's room. I left his books, pencils, lightbulbs, one outfit for every day of the wk, and a sleeping bag and mattress. Both kids were very calm when they came home and very apologetic. difficult child thanked me for cleaning his rm. (Seriously. No hint of sarcasm.) The main thing I made a point of taking away was his collection of wrestling dolls. He has to earn them back one by one. Earning them back means not only getting better grades, but improving his attitude toward grades (he got 2 Ds and 2 Fs this wk and said, "So what?" He goes to a very expensive private school, not that the grades are more important, but that we have to work 10X as hard to pay tuition.) Earning them back also means not sassing me. And doing the laundry. Feeding the dogs. Taking the dogs out. The catch is that I am not to nag him. Nagging him encourages him to argue back. And it escalates downward from there. This way, if it's a good day, he gets a toy. Bad day, no toy. No discussion. The sun is out. There is NO tension in the house. He's calm and happy (go figure). easy child is fine, too. It feels good.