I've never seen this in any parenting book but something that works well with J is the squashing technique... Let me explain. This very morning, for example, he started whining and crying about chocoloate biscuits. Monday was Pup's birthday and I had bought a packet of chocolate sponge biscuits in guise of cake (the local shop having run out), we had put 9 candles on and sung Happy Birthday... well, silly I know, but J enjoyed it. He ate most of the biscuits. There were a few left over and I ate them yesterday. This morning J decided he wanted to eat them and when I told them there were none left, he started whining and crying "Why didn't you leave some for me? You're naughty!", etc. After a minute or so of this escalating fit, I announced: "Right! That's it! Squashing time!" and sat on him, not too hard. J duly started giggling and laughing and the fit was forgotten. Might help if your difficult child is the quick to laugh kind.