Tantrums and children's difficult behavior is a fact of life for all parents. They can show up anytime - in the morning during breakfast, during playtime, on outings and at night before bedtime.
Sometimes called the "Terrible Two's," every parent gets a taste of this stage and luckily, with the internet and other group support, parents have an easier time finding solutions to help them out of sticky situations.
Try to understand the reasoning behind the tantrum, as much as possible. We know they sometimes occur at the worst possible moments and in the worst possible places.
Offer emotional support - try offering a quick hug and let them know you understand how hard it can be to leave a situation when you're having so much fun. This let's you have an out as the bad guy.
If you use time outs, ensure they are used appropriately. They work best when used to give the child a moment to get their emotions under control. Try not to use it as a punishment, but rather a moment to step away and collect themselves.
Reward good behavior. Ensure you pay attention and let them know you notice when they are behaving well.
Give them a voice whenever possible. Part of emotional meltdowns can come from children not having "control." Give them options. Let them choose from your list of appropriate meal time items or let them choose which bedtime story they'd like to hear.
While there are times patience is in short supply, offering encouragement for positive and appropriate behavior can go a long way in preventing some meltdowns in the future.