Dennis Prager said the best thing you can give your children is a lot of Vitamin N..."NO!' They need to learn to say "NO" even to themselves....This teaches them self-discipline.
Children want boundaries. It is protection for them. They want to know that they aren't the boss. We know what is good for them, they don't, so say "NO" a lot.
I was telling Cassi, my daughter, about this and she said N can also stand for "Need". Children need to distinguish between wants and needs and learn to say "NO" to a lot of the wants they think they need. This will serve them well when they are adults...To be able say "NO" to themselves.
A college friend of ours was visiting with us the other day and said that whenever he and his wife would leave our house when all of our children were young, they would talk about how strict we were with our children. As all of our children grew up, they realized how much easier parenting seemed for us.
When we told our children to go to bed, they went right away. They, on the other hand, had a major battle every night getting their children to go to bed. When we said "NO", our children knew we meant it. Teaching them to say "NO" to themselves at an early age makes raising children a joy and not a burden.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.