One important step in communication between a coParent and your toddler – let them know when you are picking him or her up.
Communicating to your child that you are picking him or her up, gives you another conscious tool with connecting in a respectful and loving way that lets your child know that you respect their body and autonomy.
If you are still wondering about this step, perhaps ask yourself this question: “How would I feel if someone picked me up unexpectedly while I was focused on work or cooking dinner?” If your answer is shocked, upset or uncomfortable, the same could be going through your child’s mind – especially if he/she is absorbed in play, which in essence is his/her own work with learning.
I run a group called Family Love Village (FLV). Our very first guest speaker, Cody Dale, mentioned that during her RIE (Resources for Infant Educarer) training, they had a simulation course where the adults were attached to a bungee cord. They were put in a room where furniture and toys were oversized. The point of the course was for the trainees to understand what it is like to be a baby when an adult picks him/her up unannounced and interrupts their play.
The students would be playing with objects and then suddenly out of nowhere would be lifted up via the bungee cord, giving the experience of what the baby must be feeling whenever picked up unexpectedly. I found the exercise intriguing and it really put into perspective how adults can unconsciously interrupt their children’s world unintentionally.
So ever since FLV’s first workshop, I always announce to babies and toddlers when I am going to pick them up, so they know what to expect. In doing so, I have found that children respond more easily to this, as well.