You know what's scary? When you realize your children are going to go their own way, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, you see signs that she is her own person even in babyhood. My daughters started showing some of their strong personal characteristics VERY early on. But when they are young, you can still coerce them into being polite, working on schoolwork, sitting quietly in church, (occasionally) cleaning their rooms. Eventually, though, you come to the Moment. Even as a mid-life crisis can hit you like a bolt from the blue, though you've known all along that eventually you will get old and die, so too can the thought that someday your kids will be on their own and can make some serious mistakes, be startling.
Of course, there are many things that can help influence a child's development. In this category are not only how you raise the child, but what examples you set. When looking at people whom I know personally who have made mistakes in their lives, I can see how seeds of negative behavior were sown by the actions of others who had significant influences in their lives at an early age.
In the end, though, everybody makes their own choices in life. Though it can be daunting to think of my daughters out on their own, in a way it is freeing to think that in the end they are responsible for decisions they make, even as I am responsible for what I have done, no matter the bad things I can point to in my past. It is freeing because none of us can be perfect as parents, or as significant people in a child's life. We should strive for the best, so that our children are not too burdened with a poor start. But our best influences fade before personal choice. The best we can do is pray for the young people in our lives to make positive decisions.