My 5-year-old daughter is generally a pleasant and balanced girl, but sometimes she will get really, really mad and throw a major tantrum. This usually happens when something does not go her way (even something trivial) while she is tired or otherwise in a bad mood. Sometimes it is because I refuse to give her something (such as watching a video when it's already bedtime), sometimes something else which annoys her (such as bad weather or a friend who cannot come to play).
Then she will sit down somewhere, or even lie on the ground, be angry, cry without pause and generally look quite miserable. She will not accept being touched, held, comforted or sometimes even being spoken to. This can go on for over twenty minutes before she calms down.
I am still a bit unsure how to best handle this. I don't want to punish her for the tantrum, as I think she does it because she cannot (yet) control her emotions. At the same time, I do want it to stop, both for my sanity and for hers.
In particular, I tried leaving her alone and going to a different room, so she can cool off. However, it seems to me the tantrums take even longer then. On the other hand, she refuses to interact with me even if I am there, and it feels silly to sit there, watch and do nothing.
Should I stay and wait for the tantrum to go away? Should I leave her alone? Sometimes when I tell her I will go away, she objects, sometimes she does not react at all.