I really could use some advice!
My 13 month old DD has started throwing tantrums when she doesn't get something that she wants, and I'm really at a loss as to how I should react.
As an example, the other day, she was playing in the back yard. I needed to come in the house to start dinner, which meant that DD had to come inside too. I held her hand and we walked to the door. As soon as I opened the door to go inside, she realized that we were going in the house and she started crying. I told her that it was time to go in, and I tried to help her step up into the house. She kept crying and let her legs go slack so that she fell onto the floor. She stiffened up and arched her back and threw her head back so that it was difficult to pick her up, and then once I picked her up, she started kicking her legs. I calmly explained to her that it was time to make dinner and that we could play outside or go for a walk later on, but that mommy had things to do right now. I took her to the kitchen and gave her a cracker, and she was upset for a few minutes, but then she calmed down.
That was pretty extreme, but I feel that it went ok. Something that happens on a more regular basis is that she starts yelling if she doesn't get her way. For example, if she sees me latching the baby gate so that she can't climb up the stairs, or if she's playing with something that she's not supposed to have and I take it away. If she gets something that she's not supposed to have, I usually ask her what she has, and then I tell her to "show mommy", and most of the time, she'll hand it over to me and I tell her thank you (of course, sometimes she gets smart and runs away from me :LOL).
How should I react to stuff like this? I really really want to be gentle and consistent, but I feel totally at a loss here. If I'm in the kitchen and she points to the crackers on the table and screams, I realize that she's telling me in her nonverbal way that she wants a cracker. So if I give her a cracker when she screams for one, am I encouraging the screaming? I'm so confused, mamas! Please help!