Tantrums often come when your toddler is experiencing strong emotions but doesn't know how to tell you about them, or how to deal with them himself. "If you understood everything but couldn't talk as fast, you would be angry as well," explains Dr. Ravinder Khaira, a pediatrician at Sutter Health in Sacramento, California, and the father of four-year-old twin girls. "Toddlers have tantrums because they want to become more independent," Khaira says. "They want to do things like put on their clothes or feed themselves and they become frustrated with their limitations and the inability to communicate."
"Once a tantrum occurs the most effective way to deal with it is to ignore it," says Dr. Glass. While your child is in the throes of emotion do not establish eye contact. You may want to put the child in her room or another safe location and let him stay there, under your supervision, until he's approachable. When you feel your child is past the behavior, give him attention and eye contact. "By giving your child attention when he's being good, he's more likely to end his tantrum or have a less intense tantrum when you don't give him attention during a tantrum."
There are days when you'll be the perfect parent and days where parenthood is more a matter of survival. When those difficult days come, remember that parenting is a learning process for both you and your toddler. As you help your child deal with her emotions, you'll be setting up a relationship and trust that will extend from the terrible twos into the tumultuous teens and beyond. As Jen Singer, mother of two and author of 14 Hours 'Til Bedtime puts it, "Toddler tantrums are normal. They just don't make a sticker for it in you child's memory book."I think that I need a sticker, t-shirt, or award of some kind saying: