New York Knicks and Kids Need Anger Management Skills

Flickr/MattBritt00New York Knick Amar'e Stoudemire will be sitting out tonight's playoff against the Miami Heat, and it is his own fault. Stoudemire decked a fire extinguisher in frustration after Monday's Game 2 loss. In the heat of the loss, Stoudemire was only expressing an emotion that thousands of fans were feeling at that same time. Unfortunately his momentary loss of control resulted in an injury requiring stitches and the possible end of his season.
When any of us lose control – whether we are playing sports, disciplining our children, or driving in heavy traffic – we are unable to see the consequences of our actions. There is a reason why we call rage blind.
We all lose it and wish we could step back just a split second and do or say things differently.  Sometimes the consequences when we pull a proverbial trigger in anger or fear are small and seem insignificant. Sometimes they are huge and quite literally life changing. The good thing is that we can all learn to control the impulses that drive us off the rails and put us in danger.

There is growing evidence that these skills, broadly called social-emotional learning, can be taught successfully in schools, and that there is a long-term benefit to teaching them. Social emotional skills involve things like understanding what we are feeling and why, learning to manage those emotions, developing concern and empathy toward others, thinking before we act, and handling challenging situations constructively.