We have 4 kids and a small house. We don't have a basement or separate playroom, and bedrooms are too small to play in much, so the whole family is usually sharing the same space in our smallish, adjoining living and dining rooms. Our large, strong 3-year-old has serious anger and violence issues due to pre-birth brain damage and birth trauma (we adopted him through foster care). He is very susceptible to other people's levels of activity. If another person is ramped up at the wrong time, he spins out of control — really out of control.
I need gentle ways to help my 7-year-old daughter understand and comply with this. She is actually quite mature for her age and she is not overly active. It's just that there are times when she wants to talk loud, or dance, or kiss her little brother, and it's not a good time for him. I can't send him to another space at these times because he gets into dangerous situations. I end up sending her out of the room, and it's so hard to help her understand that she's not in trouble, but the family needs it to be quiet and calm so everyone can have peace.
Sometimes I try to explain this, yet it's hard for a 7-year-old not to act like a 7-year-old. Then her little brother gets revved up and bites her hard, and I end up angry with her for not quieting down and ramping him up.
How do I help her understand and get us on the same team? (Meanwhile, we are working hard on improving little brother's behaviors using a variety of methods.) Maybe a cue system, red light means we must be silent and sitting, yellow light it's time for calm play, green light play at will?