December 31, 2011 at 7:29 PM CST - Updated June 15 at 7:02 PM
BOSTON (CNN) - A Boston pediatrician says temper tantrums are a normal part of child development, and parents usually are not doing anything wrong.
Dr. Michelle Tang Day explained that temper tantrums are common among children between 1 and 4 years old and can start from the child being hungry, tired or over-stimulated.
Twins Anson and Joss Richman are normal toddlers that have temper tantrums.
"Crying and foot stomping and just sort of loud screaming and a lot of, 'No, no,' and repeatedly asking for whatever it is that they want," said Leslie Richman, mother of Anson and Joss.
"Tantrums can be so frustrating. Often I'll have parents come to the office saying, 'What I am doing wrong?'" Day said. "Attention is another reason that children have tantrums. If parents pay attention or praise, give positive feedback to the kids, sometimes these can prevent tantrums. Another thing is frustration, give the children age-appropriate activities to do so that they don't get frustrated and finish the tasks that they start."
Day says parents should take the understanding and loving approach, rather than punishing the child after a temper tantrum.
"You are your child's greatest example. [Take] a deep breath, take a step back, and don't get angry," Day said. "I think that's one of the most important things to remember, and in the heat of things it's very easy to get frustrated."