I do have a habit of discussing with my kids about better ways to communicate their feelings in a situation. I love the idea of using the cycle described in this lesson to better illustrate what is going on.
Also, I have a couple of kids who tend to use the "I couldn't help it" line. I think that it is a great thing to discuss how we behave differently for different people. When tensions between siblings get too high around here, we often draw back from interacting with friends as much. We typically say that we can practice getting along with each other before we are ready to go out and interact with others.
I do notice that after too much friend time, sibling fuses are shorter. This lesson has me thinking about it. It is true that they can control their behaviors better when the circumstances involve friends or at least another audience. But I think that there is a certain capacity for that graciousness. And perhaps when we (or they) use up their capacity for graciousness in outside the family interactions, it can lead to higher levels of hasty responses and conflicts inside the home. The concept of capacity has come up in several of the books and classes I have read/taken lately. Really just pondering this idea. Any thoughts?