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If you know the triggers you can try to avoid them. Also over time if they know the tantrum is not going to get them anywhere they will not do them. When kids are over tired and hungry they tend to have more melt downs. They may not know why but those are usually triggers because they are not 100%. If you know going to the store your kid is going to ask for some candy then talk to them before how they are not going to get candy. Maybe bring another snack to distract them from wanting candy. My daughter loves to have something we just bought when we get to the car. It can be fruit, cheese stick, or anything and she is happy. So maybe that would be good motivation. Does not have to be something sweet.
It depends on why your child is having them. Generally little ones have tantrums because they get frustrated. This frustration stems mainly from not being able to express themselves and not having control over what happens in their daily life. Work with your child on learning how to express feelings and give your child as many opportunities to make their own decisions. Letting him or her choose between two outfits, two snacks, etc. allows for decision making and lets the child have some control.