My parents pretty much just talked things to death. LOL They actually did a pretty good job of talking about the right things BEFORE we faced the choices to do something we shouldn't; and they did a good job of helping us to understand why it was we should behave well and respect other people and property in general. So, I didn't do all that much wrong (compared to a lot of kids). I did do the occasional stupid stuff "that seemed like a good idea at the time", though. When I did they'd talk it to death, making it seem like far less of a "good idea" by the time the grueling re-hash and questioning and explaining was done. LOL
With my own kids, I aimed to do as good a job of the "before-the-fact" kind of talking and aimed to be a little more understanding and quite a bit less "grueling" when an "after-the-fact situation" was being addressed. I like to think I "perfected" the whole thing. My kids have expressed their approval and appreciation of my approach to me and told me they plan to take the same kind of approach. I suspect, too, though, there's a good chance they may be able to further refine and perfect the approach.
Having said all that, I don't pretend there weren't those many times when I muddled through on a case-by-case basis when it came to choosing what to say, when to say it, and how often to say it. I always let what was good, cool, sense and solid reason be guide, because those are things even children tend to recognize when they run into them. My parents went with the "good, cool, sense and solid reason" thing too. It's just that they weren't quite as good with some "cool sense" (rather than "emotional sense") and occasionally weren't all that solid with reasoning when it came to their not always seeming to realize that when kids do some of the stupid things they do it doesn't always mean they're headed for a life of crime or "floozy-dom" (as when my thirteen-year-old sister went against the no-lipstick rule and put some on under the street-light and on her way to a party with her friends).
Why I modified my parents' approach: I believe that talking is most effective when otherwise good sense and sound reasoning aren't marred by over-reaction, a little too much worry, a little too little understanding, or a little more guilt than a kid should feel when he's done nothing more than mess up because he's a kid, and even some awfully good kids do some awfully stupid things.