My 3.5 year old daughter has temper tantrums several times a month. They are horrible and have lasted up to 30 minutes. Sometimes, I know what triggers them, sometime not. I usually ignore them and let her cry it out but I often second guess myself and wonder if it's the best thing to do.
Here's my question in particular: during her tantrums, she will cry and hold out her hands like she wants me to come to her, when I do, she pushes me away and then she will again cold out her hands to me, I go back and she pushes me away. In the meantime she is kicking and screaming etc. Then, she stops and acts as though nothing happened. Sometimes I'll ask her why she's had a tantrum and she will at times, tell me why, other times she won't tell me. Any ideas?
"While redirection is the key for managing behaviour at age two, if tantrums persist at age three, ignoring such behaviour is the next strategy parents should try. Ignoring tantrums teaches the child that this behaviour doesn't work and so they often stop. Ignoring really means withholding attention for misbehaviour, but, and very importantly, it is also a must that parents do provide attention for appropriate behaviour. This is usually in the form of verbal feedback, praise, hugs and kisses.
If ignoring the tantrums isn't working at age three, you can start to use "time-out" as a consequence. Time-out means time away from anything reinforcing or otherwise pleasurable - like sitting on the stairs or in the corner, or quietly on a chair. While the general rule is one minute of time-out per age of child, time-outs that are much briefer and a matter of seconds, say 5 to 15 seconds are often MORE effective than longer time-outs. In the life of a three-year-old, 5 to 15 seconds is a long time, but it is not so long that they forget why they were sent to time-out in the first place. The key to effectively using this strategy is to apply a brief time-out each time the behaviour occurs. It is better a brief time-out follows at each instance of a tantrum, than only long time-out."
Thats some info I got from another site BUT google temper tantrums into any search engine and you'll find a wealth of info. I agree with the above though.