I am new to the site and sorta new to parenting. I have two babies (19 month and 5 month old). I am already fearing that my discipline tactics will lead my oldest child scorn for the rest of his life so I am turning to this site and others (please suggest) to assist me disciplining my children better.
Welcome! You will find lots of interesting discussions here that will help you find your way. I have a number of discipline articles on my blog (click my name to find it) that might be helpful to you. My favorite book on discipline is Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower. Another great one for your older child is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish.
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby !
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At your children's age I think the best thing you can do to prepare for a healthy relationship in regard to behavior issues (which I think is what a lot of people mean when they say discipline) is to find yourself some good resources for evaluating age appropriate expectations and typical child development. A large percentage of discipline "mistakes" I feel like stem from the parent not having these skills. I like the Louise Bates Aims series and also rely pretty heavily on a typical college child development text.
From there, one of my favorite "beginner" discipline books is "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be". This book is very flexible and non-judgmental and will help guide you to finding a style that works for you and your family.
Other good basics: Try to phrase things in the positive (tell the child what you want them to do rather than what not to do), be descriptive in your praise, identify the times when it's best to be consistent AND when it's best to be flexible, take care of yourself!, discipline in "the now" rather than for some distant future behavior, don't talk too much (lest you end up sounding like the teacher in Charlie Brown).