The proverb says "train up a child". And we are all God's children. As a parent myself, the goal in the training of my own children was for them to be able to stand on their feet and make good choices and decisions in their life. There was a place for punishment - no t.v., no games, or whatnot, but the end goal was to produce a person who could rationalize concerning good, and not so good choices.
The ability to know where things lead. What will be the results and consequences from this choice, this action, or that action? As a parent, it was not ever my intention to produce a child who would forever be dependant upon me to make the right choices for them. To forever have to punish and reward was not the end I ever had in sight. I wanted to raise up children who would know and understand for themselves, right from wrong (good from evil).
As a child of God, I believe experience is the best teacher, for all of us. The looking back upon the burnt out ashes of life lived apart from God is a forever lesson. The smoke of our crashing and burning will rise up for ever and ever..