Temper tantrums are considered an essential part of child development which are expected to emerge during the toddler period (18months -3years). This period is a time of intense physical growth accompanied by increased activity. During this developmental stage, the child is expected to establish a distinct self that is separate from her parents. This explains why the child starts to assert herself where her favorite word becomes 'no!'. Apart from the need to take more control over herself, this behavior may also stem from the frustration caused by an incomplete and unbalanced development of expressive language skills when compared with their more complete receptive language skills.
Toddlers tend to understand complex sentences however they are still very limited with regards to their communicative ability which many times does not exceed 2-3 worded sentences. Although temper tantrums are notorious to parents as their authority is being seriously challenged, if parents remain firm and in control the toddler will leave this stage with a secure relationship with her parents, trusting them to establish boundaries.
How to cope with temper tantrums
Address the behavior as soon as it starts without getting angry or giving in to your child. Say to your child, "When you stop crying we'll talk about it and see what can be done." Then walk into the next room. Show love. It's okay to hold your child if she comes to you during a tantrum and she's too young to be left alone, but don't respond to what she wants until she calms down. Get some privacy. When in public ignore any glares you get, take your child to a private corner to wait for her to calm down. Tell her, "I'll sit down with you until you stop screaming." If she doesn't stop crying or screaming after three or four minutes, take her home. Parents need to learn how to deal with their own frustrations and anger in an effective manner. "Monkey see, monkey do." Have realistic expectations. Expecting a toddler to remain seated and sedate during church service or while in a fancy restaurant will only lead to frustration for both age groups.
Help your child find the proper verbal way of expressing their frustrations. ("I know you are mad that I won't give you more time on the swings, but it is time to go home and eat") Preempt and Plan ahead. For example, "We have to stop watching TV when the timer rings for the second time." This gives the child the opportunity to assert some control over the situation and develop an alternative approach to a frustrating event. Toddlers crave control. Allow simple choices that you can live with. For example, "Do you want some apple or banana at lunch?