The problem that you describe is not an uncommon one, and I wouldn't blame yourself too much. Assuming that she is generally a healthy child with no underlying medical problems, it is extremely unlikely that she will do any serious harm to herself from these tantrums. Of course, it is still difficult to tolerate them. You have started on the right path by trying to distract her when something is upsetting her. The other thing to do is to avoid the situations (if possible) that you know tend to provoke the episodes. One of the most important things that you can do is to stay calm. Children are very sensitive to the emotions of those around them and if she sees that you are upset and yelling, it feeds into her tantrum. Talk to her very calmly and in your normal tone of voice. Tell her that you're sorry but she can't have _____. Make sure there are no sharp or heavy objects nearby, and then go about your busines, ignoring the tantrum. This means avoiding eye contact as well as unnecessary conversation, but do not leave her in the room by herself at this age. If you have a playpen available, putting her in it during the tantrum will help make sure she is safe. When the tantrum is finished, pick her up and give her a hug, and go on to another activity, without punishment or a reprimand.
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