One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone sees a child behaving well and they look at the parent's of that child and say, "You're so lucky to have such a good kid."
No! They're not LUCKY, blessed maybe, but don't diminish the time and effort that that parent puts into their child by labeling it luck. When I see a child who is well behaved, picks up after themselves, listens to his/her parents, etc, I think, "Wow, they not only put the time in to teach that child right from wrong but they also have modeled the behavior themselves and also had the strength to follow through with disciplining their child when it was needed."
Disciplining your child is almost never fun for either of you but it's a necessity. If you want to develop true leadership qualities within your child you need to be able to follow through on threats and promises. Your child will never learn the difference between an empty threat and consequences of their actions unless you yourself have the discipline to take action against unwanted behavior.
It's so easy to reward good behavior, no one denies that; neither does anyone deny the difficulty in following through with correction of undesirable behavior, but BOTH need to happen.
If you never rewarded your child for their good behavior, you're child would probably stop doing the good things and move to the less desirable actions because at least then you're showing them some attention.
If you are just continually yelling or demanding for an action/ bad behavior to stop but never follow it up with anything concrete for your child to understand why that behavior is unacceptable, they have no reason to quit. They'll just keep testing you until you essentially lose your mind. By saying, "If you do that one more time and I'm going to..." but never actually follow through then not only are you proving yourself weak to your child but you're also showing them that THEY are in control and essentially you're a liar because you're not doing what you say you're going to do.
As parents, if we want to be the "LUCKY" one's with the well behaved children we need to ACT on our words, SET definite boundaries, be UNWAIVERING (don't send mixed signals to your child) in discipline and rewards and most importantly MODEL the behavior that we want our children to possess.