A temper tantrum is the outward expression of inner turmoil. It is therefore non-productive to take that outer expression at face value. Often the child directs the turmoil at a misperceived outer object – you, for instance, or another child touching his toy – not knowing why he or she is really angry.
The first thing to do is to give him space to calm down and come to terms with his feelings (the traditional time out). Do it in a non-punitive way by saying, “Go to your room”. Or use the traditional standby, the water therapy bath with chamomile or lavender flowers tied in a cotton sock and hung on the running tap. You can then ask, “What is really bothering you? If you tell me about it, perhaps I can help”.
Children learn most by example. It is your example of not engaging the superficial that trains them to live a spiritual life of depth. You cannot react in anger and then expect them to masterfully respond to life’s circumstances. When you feel yourself slipping into frustration and anger, take ‘time out’ yourself before you respond. A bath works wonders for grownups too!
Excerpt from How To Raise and Exceptional Child by Almine.