In a day where people are taking unbelievably good photos with their phones and even basic entry level cameras have capabilities and qualities we would have killed for a decade ago and which blow away almost all of the cameras of the film era, it's hard to say that any camera today sucks. Some have better capabilities than others, some have functionality that better fits our usage than others. But the bottom line is that a photographer that works on his craft can take anything on the market today and create images that blow you away.
There's way too much "if I just buy this camera then it'll make me a good photographer" and not enough "if I learn how to use the camera then I'll know how to get good pictures with it" in the camera world today, and I'm hearing that in the frustration within this question. Cameras are tools and to get the most out of tools you can't just set them to auto and push buttons.
This is a long-winded way of suggesting you reset your expectations. We have all (and I was guilty of it early in my digital photo life, too) get into the mindset of "if I just buy this new more expensive thing it'll solve me problem" and far too often, no, it doesn't. You need to learn how to use the gear well, you need to understand what it can't do so you don't fight its limitations, and you need to practice your camera and post-processing to learn how to get the camera to give you the images you want. It's not as simple as "point and click", no matter what the camera manufacturer marketing hype wants you to believe.
That said, here's some suggestions: when I recommend gear to new photographers or (as increasingly is true today) people wanting to move from their phone to more serious gear, I almost always recommend the basic entry level body like a Canon T5i. The more powerful bodies have more features but are more expensive and many of those features are useless unless you have a good sense how to take advantage of them, so it can be wasted money. By the time someone needs that capability they're usually ready for a body upgrade anyway.
Lenses are a different matter. A lower quality lens on a great body makes good images more difficult. A lower quality lens on an inexpensive does the same. The entry level body and kit lens combo is inexpensive for a reason -- but that lens is still a pretty good lens, especially compared to lenses that were sold like that 10 or 15 years ago. You can do really nice, photography that way.
But if there's a choice between spending money on a body or a lens, I almost always tell people to spend it on the lens. Better glass will improve a basic body more than a more powerful body will improve a basic lens. You are also less likely to need to upgrade lenses as often as the body, so that's a good place to invest. When I graduated from the kit camera setup I bought a top-end lens that cost 2X my body, and I kept it for about a decade and upgraded the body behind it three times before selling it so I could buy really nice (and expensive) L glass lenses. I didn't do that until I was a good enough photography to be able to look at images taken on L glass and see the difference they gave me within the image.
In your case, wanting to shoot your kids (and, it sounds, not trying to become a "pro" photographer, but interested in getting good images for yourself), a good entry level body should do fine -- I love the Canon T5i. you don't need a more expensive body and I think you're wasting money that can be used on other things if you try. For a lens, think about one of the third party lenses -- something like the Sigma 18-250 or the Tamron 18-270. Those are good value lenses with better quality than the kit lens and more flexibility in their zoom range and will give you the ability to get closer shots on the soccer field but still get good shots in the living room with one lens at a good price.
And then learn how to use them. Learn to shoot raw instead of JPEG so you can work the images later. Get a copy of Lightroom and learn to use it. Don't just put everything into auto and assume the camera will work miracles, because that's how you'll end up disappointed, because it needs your help to go from generic pictures to great ones.