Keep trying to do it better.
Good question. You really have to understand your kids and what's going through their minds when they act up - and if it's worth making a fuss over. Maybe some parents can't do this, in which case it's going to be difficult
My sister has a fairly hyper 6yo. When we were camping the other weekend, we had a raised fire basket thing. He had been told not to mess about whilst sitting around it, but there was another kid there and of course his mind wandered and there was a bit of very mild pushing and playing. My BiL told him off once and that he was being dangerous, then the second time shortly afterwards he was made to go and have a time out for punishment.
The thing is, he's really a good kid, but he's been punished far too much for things he doens't understand, he always has been. If they do try and explain to him what he's doing wrong, he thinks he's being punished so he shuts down and can't listen. He's also incredibly sensitive and can't handle his feelings of hurt when they are telling him off or punishing him. So he goes from fun to misery without really understanding why. I don't think it makes for a particularly secure environment.
They don't really understand how he works and how they need to deal with him, but they hand out (non physical) punishment when it's doing more harm than good.