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Children respond more readily to positive reinforcement, so instead of punishing for misbehavior, try to focus on positive behaviors as they are happening. It greatly increases the likelihood of the behavior repeating itself, and it increases positive feelings between yourself and your child.
I say positive reinforcement is good. I also know that it doesn't work unless there is a consequence for their misbehavior. For instance, if I were to tell my daughter that if she stops throwing a fit for a piece of candy then she'll get a piece of candy even when i had already told her no, that she couldn't have a piece which is what caused her to scream in the first place. She isn't learning anything. I say, "no and don't keep asking you know no means no with me," but you do have that chore money you earned earlier that was going to pay for that privledge you wanted. If she begins to persist I will give her the consequences and say that she will owe me a fine of one dollar for every moment she continues to throw a fit. At the same time I will encourage her into good behavior: you now have nine dollars, you have the princess movie time taken away, but you can still afford icecream. No need for corporal punishment, no need to leave the store, no need to give in to what she wants. My four year old daughter has different specific chores she helps me with throughout our day and an amount of fake princess money. she gets a dollar for good cooperation just for brushing her teeth. If she tells me no even one time I will say, you have the chance to make more money with other chores, I know your sorry, you'll have another chance to get it tomorrow. She says ok with tears in her eyes as she climbs into my lap for a hug, but I remain consistent and every one compliments my kid's good behavior when we're out in public.