"Overall, it's a lot harder to be an acceptable Jewish kid today than it was a generation or two ago." This is a quote from an article addressing why so many kids are off the derech by Rabbi Kelemen. Ouch! The expectations are through the roof, and the kids get tired of not measuring up, so they drop out.
My failing are my sky-high expectations. I expect my kids to be smart, put-together, tender-hearted, morally strong, educationally advanced, grasping complex concepts, obedient, well-mannered, clean and neat, creative, accountable, free-spirited... the list goes on. Some items on the list are mutually exclusive. When the kids repeatedly do not meet whichever expectation I applied to them, I am displeased. Whether I show it or not, they know it. I am setting them up to fail.
A strategy to changing the kids' behavior is addressed in this shiur. It is under five minutes, and is probably shorter than the time it takes to read some of my posts. It is leading by example. Once you are so perfected as an individual, the others will naturally want to follow you and work on their shortcomings. In this sense, unschooling is harder, as is can only thrive when the parents set an example that is worthy of emulation.