The Goals of Discipline

The goals of discipline are to lead children toward learning skills and values that will prepare them for adulthood, when they will eventually depend entirely on themselves for self-discipline and, hopefully, lead happy, fulfilling and caring lives. There should always be a positive emphasis on discipline. Your pleasure in your children’s accomplishments and your disappointment in their inappropriate behaviors are your most effective guides ……

When and how to discipline varies considerably according to developmental stage and individual personality. Although your family values will shape the direction of your children’s growth, at birth, genetic makeup provides infants with a variety of temperaments as well as considerable differences in energy and capabilities …….

There are, however, some discipline generalizations that seem to fit all ages and personalities. Your first priority is to teach your children positively; your second is to set limits when your children have temporarily gone astray. ……..

AS SOON AS babies begin to crawl or toddle, you’ll begin your disciplining. Making spaces child safe by rearranging, locking or protecting is much more effective than slapping hands and saying "no" every few minutes. Of course, no environment can be completely child-proofed.
Saying "no" or a descriptive word such as "hot" in a slightly raised and serious voice, paired with a distraction to some other toy or activity, works well until children approach two years of age. Biting or hitting can be retaught with a "no" followed by a "nice" while giving a patting or hugging lesson.

(from Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids)