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For many people the word discipline means punishment. The purpose of discipline is not to punish children but to teach them how to behave properly. The ultimate goal is for the child to learn self-control and to do the right thing even when she is not being told or supervised.

Remember that children are people too. They are worthy of our respect, and they want very much to be valued and appreciated. Children make mistakes just like we do. No one is perfect, including parents, so don't expect your children to be.

Prevent Child Abuse Ohio offers these guidelines to help you discipline your children more effectively:

Remember every child is different - get to know each of your children as individuals to determine what works best for that child, and be sure that your discipline methods fir that particular child's needs and age.

Reinforce positive behavior - Acknowledge your child for what he or she is doing right instead of what is being done wrong. By rewarding your child for positive behavior, you are more likely to elicit such behavior in the future.

Set boundaries - Children need limits and consequences to develop self-control. Make the rules clear and let your child know what is expected of them at all times. Enforce the rules and give consequences immediately. Not doing so can send mixed messages and confuse your child.

Spend quality time with your child - Spending just 15 minutes out of your day playing a game, painting or taking a walk with your child lets them know how special they are to you. Giving your child your undivided attention makes them feel appreciated.

Set the example - If you display certain actions and attitudes around your children, don't be surprised when your kids begin to act the same way. Teach values and set standards for your children by your example and not just lip service.

Talk with other parents - Neighbors, family, friends and co-workers can offer advice and support. Take advantage of community resources - local schools, hospitals, churches and agencies often offer parenting courses and workshops at little or no cost.