|There's no magic potion for parenting.|
Actually, this is a no-brainer. Hello! Our kids have free will and we can do everything possible to help them be responsible, holy adults and still watch heartbroken as they make bad, self-destructive decisions. I take comfort in Proverbs 22: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Some children accept what parents say and believe, take it to heart, and never rebel. Others learn the hard way. They have to stick their fingers in the fire to see if it's really hot.
Why should we be shocked? Most of us have made enough mistakes and committed enough sins in our own youth to recognize the reality that most young people test the limits of their parents love and, by extrapolation, God's. We want to be happy and we're convinced that by having an affair with this person or taking that drug or drinking alcohol by the bucket, or having a pile of stuff will numb all our pains and ensure our happiness. It's only after disappointment and heartbreak that many finally begin to realize, with St. Augustine, that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. He is the only love that never fails.
So, parents, whether you homeschool or not, don't beat yourself up. If you have done everything you can to put God at the center of your family and raise the kids according to His laws which are simply the boundaries that allow love to flourish, don't worry. Your kids have free will. Just keep on praying and loving them -- not with mush love but with the truth spoken in charity. If that means you have to tell an older child he can't have contact with younger siblings until he gets his act together because of his bad influence, don't feel guilty. When they accuse you, remind them that you have tried your best, that there are no perfect parents (except our Mother Mary) and there are no perfect children except Christ. If they hate you, think of all the disciples of Jesus who walked away. Suffer for them!
Persevere and pray. And remember that they aren't old yet. Keep on loving and hoping. They are two powerful virtues!