I started a word game with them. Now that we are back in VA, they start with 4 letters (usually P.O.O.L). For each tantrum, transgression, etc., they lose a letter; they still have to do their time-out. If they don't have all their letters, they can't go to the pool that day. They can earn their letters back by doing something nice...and outside of what they are told to do. They get more upset about losing their letters that they go out of their way to do something nice. For instance, today Tank was down two letters. I asked him to bring his shoes in from the deck. He brought his in...as well as his sisters. He earned one letter back. Also, if I find that they are not listening, all I have to do is threaten to take a letter away. They react quickly. I've noticed since I started doing this back in June, I don't raise my voice so much anymore.
I write their names on an index card each morning with the word of the day. On special occasion days, the word might be P.A.R.T.Y if we are going to a birthday party. On cloudy days, the word is P.A.R.K. When we were at the beach, it was I.C.E for ice cream.
As for crying and tantrums in the house, they can do it in the living room or in their bedrooms. They are free to join the rest of us once they are calmed down. I never thought this would work...but it does. Many times I go to check on someone, and he/she will be happily playing with the train table, reading a book, or even napping.
I don't know how long this is going to work...but it's working for now!!!