I am not the disciplinarian on our house. I am actually pretty bad at discipline. My response to a tantrum-throwing child is to ignore them as opposed to yelling or spanking. This is not to say that I will not yell or pick up one of my daughters and put them down with emphasis.
I do not think that my children are scared of me. I also don't think that with my girls the threat of a spanking or continuous yelling (or follow through on those) will do anything other than escalate the noise level.
I don't take tantrums or screaming from my children personally. I know they love me. I know they are having "a moment."
I usually try to pick the screamer up (unless they have done something to deserve being yelled at, causing the crying). Sometimes this results in me eventually putting them down with emphasis.
Recently my strategy has been a threat of taking something away. And then follow through. Last week LP lost the opportunity to watch Tinkerbell before bed, a new book, chapstick, and lip gloss - all in one night.
Amazingly, since then she has been much better before bed. She still might not go to sleep at bedtime, but at least she doesn't scream and cry. Instead she creeps me out, by quietly walking to the top of the stairs and waiting for me to walk by and calling out in a hushed whisper, "Mom." Better for my sanity, although she has scared the bejesus out of me twice now.
Anyone have successful strategies to share?