Don’t take it personally. You are neither responsible for his tantrums nor for stopping them. The “goodness” of your baby is not a reflection on your parenting ability. Tantrums are common when a baby starts to strive for independence.
Identify the trigger. Tantrums are usually at the worse time for parents: when they are on the phone, at the supermarket, or busy in some other way. Think about it. The very circumstances that make a tantrum inconvenient for you are what set your toddler up for an outburst. Keep a tantrum diary, noting what incites your child. Is she bored, tired, sick, hungry, or overstimulated? Watch for pre-tantrum signs. If you notice a few moments before the flare-up that your baby is starting to whine or grumble, intervene before the little volcano erupts.
Stay cool. Temper tantrums in public places are embarrassing, often making it difficult to consider a child’s feelings. Your first thought is more likely to be “what will people think of me as a parent?” If you feel trapped and embarrassed when your child is throwing a fit in a supermarket, don’t lash out. She is already out of control and needs you to stay in control. Just calmly carry her (even if she’s kicking and screaming) to a private place, like the bathroom or your car, where she can blow off steam, after which you can quietly settle her down.
Plan ahead. To expect a curious toddler to be the model of obedience in a supermarket when he is tired and hungry is an unrealistic expectation. Shop when you both are rested and fed, and let him be your helper from the safety of his belted shopping-cart seat. Morning is usually the best time for toddler behavior; in the afternoon he’s more likely to be tired and hungry. For more tantrum information, try these two sections: