Anyone would say that broken families are a tragedy, both for the parents, who failed to preserve their happiness and for the child, whose psychological balance is inevitably shaken by the divorce. The negative consequences are sometimes aggravated by the necessity to deal with the new member of the family, who seems to be the source of hope for the happiness for the single parent.
Step-parenting problems are quite common when it comes to the second marriages. They are the price paid for being with the loved one. However, in no way it should be regarded as a torture destined to turn your life and that of your step-child to hell. It is an open secret that in the contemporary world splintered families are a frequent occurrence and many adults have to confront the problem of getting along with their step-children.
Step-parenting problems make finding your way into the heart of your newly-acquired child quite challenging, but it doesn't mean that you are not equal to the task. It implies a lot of patience and love on your part, but solving both step-mother's problems and step-father's problems is quite feasible. What has to be borne in mind while dealing with step-parenting problems is that you shouldn't try to get the status of "Mom" or "Dad" right away. Remember that for the child you are an absolute stranger and therefore it takes time and effort on your part for him to develop affection to you. It is unwise to expect the child to jump into your embrace the first day you meet.
The kid may at first even blame you for breaking the family. In this case your innocence should be made clear to him by the biological parents. The child has to understand that it was their personal decision to part. After this first step the ground for the relationship based on mutual love and respect with your step-child is leveled. Step-parenting problems can't be solved by imposing too much authority on your step-child. Most likely he will refuse to obey and this will spark off the undesired conflict.
You need to be authoritative, but not restrictive or directive. The child has to feel from your actions and words that you care about him and that you want to be his friend. Among the major step-parenting problems are initial disobedience and jealousy on the part of the child. It is not unnatural and these negative emotions are to be dealt with by patience and understanding.
Step-parents problems include the relations with the biological parents. In this respect it has to be borne in mind that step-parents shouldn't damage the positive image of his biological parent in the eyes of the child. It won't work for your advantage; but can even direct the child against you. The best solution to the step-parenting problems is genuine interest, love, attention, respect and tolerance.
It would help if the biological parent would be willing to cooperate and make the child think himself lucky to have three parents instead of two. Should he refuse to cooperate - just relax and persist in your endeavor to become friends with your step-child.