Archduchess Sophia was an energic and very resolutive woman, this is the reason why an iron man as old Metternich said about her that she was the "only man into de Habsburg´s family circle". So, she made her best to give her elder son Franzi the features of a great emperor, with a great sense of responsability and a strong feeling of being the first among the servers to the Empire.
But, from my point of view, the failure of Sophia was to brough up her children in a great isolation. They had very weak family ties with another members of the extended Habsburg family, and, if they could not made strong relationship with their cousins, imagine how isolated they were from the rest of the people. This seclusion caused, I think, a great damage to Sophia´s children when they reached their adulthood.
Life could have been more easily taken by this kind of man if he had been married to the right woman, but I think that his cousin Elisabeth was not the right woman for him. For sure that he was madly in love with the beautiful Sissi, but to love someone with every beat of your heart is not enough to made an succesful marriage.