There’s no way around it, if you have a 2 year old, at some point you are going to be on the receiving end of a tantrum. It sucks, but if you are setting boundaries, at some point those boundaries will be tested in a way that is both noisy and uncomfortable.
The middle of a tantrum is not the time to engage in conversation. Nor is it is the time to attempt to distract. (I speak from experience.) No, it is the time to repeat the rule, at intervals, but otherwise just be there.
Here’s a real-life example of what I mean:
BabyBoy was most upset at not being able to wear a particular t-shirt, which was in the laundry. Anger ensued. Alternative t-shirts were rejected, and thrown in the direction of the door. Multimummy was most embarrassed as mother-in-law was visiting and, though Multimummy didn’t look at her, she could sense the waves of disapproval.
However, BabyBoy needs to know that sometimes he cannot have everything he wants. Explaining once more that his favourite t-shirt was in the wash, Multimummy offered him again the choice of two alternatives, while reminding him that she would not let him throw his clothes around the room.
The tantrum continued. At this point Multimummy sat down on the floor, and waited. BabyBoy continued to tantrum. She waited a little longer. Then, without warning, BabyBoy grabbed his teddy bear, and deposited himself in her lap.
A quiet hug for a few minutes and then when asked again which t-shirt he would like to wear, BabyBoy chose one. Tantrum over.
It’s not easy to just ‘be there’. The instinct to do something is powerful. But if you can shut out the world and focus on your toddler, you will find that being there is what is, and all that is, really needed.