Brilliant article by psychologist Dr. Haleh Stahl on dealing with toddler tantrums[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
"Parents often have their own emotional reactions to a child's tantrum and run the risk, at these moments, to respond to the child from the perspective of their own needs as opposed to the needs of the child."
Isn't that so true? We as parents are bothered by, annoyed, angry or embarrassed by the tantrum and WE need them to stop and approach it from OUR needs not theirs- such an easy trap to fall into!
Several months ago my husband and I were shopping in a high end toy store when we observed a mother with her 18 month old daughter getting ready to leave the store- they had just come in to play awhile- and the daughter started to wind up. The mom very calmly stated, and you're going to throw a fit now because you're sad, and that;s okay, you'll get over it."
My husband and I were in awe of her calm attitude and the openness to the child throwing a fit, because that's the nature of a toddler, and her very healthy statement of that's ok, YOU'LL GET OVER IT. We chuckled at it, but have discussed it several times since and try to use statements like that with the girls.