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Parents   »   Do you need to step up or let go of control?

Do you need to step up or let go of control?

It is common for one parent (often mothers) to take on more practical responsibility for the children. This can involve taking more parental leave and more days off for VAB. It is also common for the other parent (often fathers) to feel that the coparent does not trust their way of showing care. This can be tough and requires some work to resolve.

A summary of this article below.

To step up

As a parent stepping up, you need to build up your competence and self-confidence. You also need to deepen your relationship with your child. You are not disqualified as a parent for being awkward at first – we have all been there. And you don’t have to put on a facade and pretend you know more than you do. What’s important is that you try, and that you stand for love and care.

If your coparent is bossy and has a need for control, ask them to be patient. The need for control may be about caring and not about undermining you as a parent. Don’t hesitate to seek help either. Everything you do for the best of your child is something to be proud of. If you’re brave enough to stand for your insecurity, you can ask your coparent for advice. You can also turn to the BVC-nurse if your child is little or participate in a parent support program run by the municipality if you have school-aged children. Our society invests significant resources to help us parents do our job to the best of our ability.

To let go of control

Don’t worry, you can do it! Learning to let go while having been in charge can be as hard as stepping up when one are used to sitting in the backseat. It can feel anxious and sad not to be available when you always have been.

But if it helps you to feel safe, ask your coparent to share information on how your child is doing. Trust is built through good experiences. If the child is young, some pictures in the chat in the Varannan Vecka-app can help you to relax. Perhaps you can make an agreement beforehand that your coparent will send a few pictures each day. A short update in the chat in the evening about what happened during the day can work in the same way and help you not to contact either the child or the coparent. Even though you miss your child, you don’t have the right to contact them or the coparent at all times. When your child is with the other parent, they should not be in contact with you. You have to manage your longing in other ways. You can do it!

Do check-ins

Booking in a check-in session a couple or three months ahead can help to create peace and provide both of you with space. Are you heading in the right direction or not?


  • A separation can give you a push towards a more equal parenthood.
  • If you know that you are a little bit out of touch with your children’s needs, it is important that you dare to step up and take responsibility for your own parenthood. It’s okay if you feel clumsy, it will pass over time. Dare to ask for help if you feel that it is needed. It will benefit both your child and you as a parent.
  • Do you have a strong need for control and find it hard to stop giving instructions or asking control questions about your child? Try to look at the situation from the side – could it be that you need to let go of the control over your child’s life?
  • Be generous with each other: openness and trust breeds confidence. Also be aware that the trust you receive (and give) needs to be handled carefully and respectfully.
  • Check in with each other over time. Do you/you feel that you are heading in the right direction? If not, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the family counseling in your municipality.
Malin Bergström
Child psychologist