Social worker James Lehman points out that if a child uses anger as a weapon, it is because he or she believes that it will work. He or she may appear to be out of control, but realizes that if this scares family members sufficiently, he or she gains control for the future. I like that Lehman conceives of this as a child’s attempt at problem-solving, but obviously unless parents insist and persist in helping (or getting help for) the child to develop more effective problem-solving strategies, the future won’t look very bright. I have also seen elsewhere (here, for example) that some professionals believe that some incidents of teen violence or suicidal behavior could be ameliorated with better problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
Lehman’s work is worth exploring. Other posts about James Lehman: