Temper tantrums by definition are an explosion of rage and frustration, when a toddler completely loses power over her emotions. Most toddlers are more susceptible to tantrum behavior when they’re tired or hungry — when they’re already grumpy and not thinking clearly. So the best way to prevent tantrums is to keep your toddler well-rested and well-fed: Nip them in the bud with a nap, a snack or another distraction when you suspect one is brewing.
When your daughter is mid-tantrum, there are a few ways to calm her down faster. First, a don’t: Don’t bother trying to reason with her. You won’t get anywhere, and it will most likely spin her even further out of control. Instead of explaining why she can’t have what she wants, relate to her — even if it seems counterintuitive. Calmly tell her why you understand why she would feel angry or frustrated. Make her feel like she is absolutely justified in being so upset. Eventually her emotions will evolve from anger into sadness, which is a solid step towards the tantrum’s conclusion — and happier feelings.