If parenting is the hardest job in the world then step parenting is close to impossible.
Apart from household and other works, the most difficult thing is disciplining the step child.
As step relationships are usually complicated and loaded with disagreements, it is almost impossible for a step father or mother to refrain from disciplining their step child.
Children who have been through the trauma of divorce test the step parents limits by trying to see how far they can push until the parent is upset or breaks down.
Child testing limit is common in normal parenting also. If you are a step parent, you have to realize that there is a natural boundary between the child, the child’s parents and step parents.
Discipline! If you have a step child who is acting out, it becomes difficult for you to control the child’s misbehaviors. Biological parent must understand and should assist in that situation.
Generally the discipline should come from biological parent and not the step parent. If you wait to become involved in any disciplinary action, it gives time to be included in the children’s thinking.
Bond can be built! It also provides trust and respect to develop. Bond between you and your child can be built. This bond is the necessary base from which discipline works.
Allow the biological parent to take care of disciplining until time and healthy relationship bonds establish between you and step child. If you wait to discipline your step child, it gives time for the child to build a strong relationship with you.
This also helps you to remain in neutral position and you can focus on nurturing issues. Because multi home step families are much more complex than biological families, it is harder to maintain effective child discipline.
When biological parent has hard time saying “no”, you should not take the blame. If you say “no” to your step child, it can create problem between the couple and the small incident can turn into a large argument.
You should be careful and should not run to your spouse to give a detailed report of every minor violation the step child commits. Biological parents can discipline their children without the fear of being rejected by the children.
You are often anxious about the rejection by your step child. If you don’t like the step child or don’t respect the step child, effective discipline becomes hard.
If biological parent is negligent in child’s discipline, it can cause conflicts. This can cause issues and conflicts between you and step child as you feel that you have to apply the rules and discipline.
You feel left-out or unimportant if you are not involved in child-care efforts. Step families should set some rules. These rules make child into a happy and well-adjusted adult as long as they are given respect and love.
Don’t demand respect! Respect should be there from both sides. If you demand respect, you will not get it. Respect can be earned by being consistent and fair with step child.
Consistency is the major factor for any parent. Consistency helps to discipline your step child without losing your step child’s respect.
As a child is sensitive to changes that affect his/her stability, you have to create a safe environment to help the child to go through the changes that come with divorce.