Your children are a reflection of yourself. If they are difficult, it's because you are difficult. It absolutely amazes me that people never quite get this. If you want to have good children, be a better person. Seriously.
This is probably mostly true if you're only speaking of behavior. Obviously my wife and I are the main influence since my kids have never been in day care, but they do soak up habits of other people they trust, especially older kids they look up to. My kids are all well-behaved, even on the three- to four-hour flights we take a few times a year, but my oldest (6) has picked up various bad or annoying habits in the past from his friends. One of his old playdate friends had a very annoying tantrum cry that my son tried once or twice. I had to break out the very rare Dad Voice on that one, and he never did it again. A worse example was his friend in kindergarten...my son would do stupid things on his worksheets (scribble instead of drawing or coloring, just guessing when it came to math and reading), just because that's what his friend would do. We asked the teacher to move him, and it got better, then we happened to move across the country, and now he's doing pretty awesome.
Also, my middle child has always been more difficult in other ways. Only recently have we started to make progress on that front by starting a chore chart, where she can earn stars for things we normally have to fight to get her to do, like picking up her room and eating well.
The novelty of that is falling away, though, when it comes to eating. My wife and I love all kinds of food, and my oldest almost always eats whatever we put in front of him. My youngest (1) eats literally everything we put in front of her, edible or not. The middle one, though... We do try to make what she likes but that changes all the time. She won't touch pizza anymore. As of Monday, she apparently no longer likes ribs. In fact it's probably easier to list what she does like: cereal, white rice, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and any kind of noodles as long as there isn't too much "stuff" on them (like soup, she won't touch any kind of soup).
Hopefully our one-year-old continues to take after her brother.