Stepmothers and Stepsons
Unfortunately this is a relationship that is rarely portrayed in movies or television yet it can be a great relationship and is a rather common relationship. Stepmothers and stepsons rarely have to deal with too much awkwardness, as the biological parent will usually deal with any uncomfortable topics such as puberty. As the stepmother, you can usually be the buffer between your partner and your stepson, or between the other biological parent and your stepson. As always, be sure to listen to your stepson, but do not undermine or make negative comments about either one of his biological parents or a stepparent. Instead, listen to his concerns, and offer suggestions as to how he can best manage talking to his parents about difficult issues.
Building a relationship with your stepson might actually be easier than building a relationship with a stepdaughter. It is less likely your stepson will feel competition with you when it comes to his biological parents, and you are also not dealing with puberty the way you have to with a stepdaughter. The role you can take on may be more of an older sister role, where you can help him with relationships, make sure he is polite and respectful to any dates and their parents, and keep him up to date on events that may be important for his biological parents. Reminding him that he needs to buy his mother and grandmothers cards on Mother's Day, helping him pick out cards for your partner on a birthday, and helping with homework, are all ways you can help him become a responsible young man, while also using that time to strengthen your relationship.
Offering your stepchild advice is helpful as is helping him navigate his parents' moods. Suggesting he doesn't ask his father permission to take the car as soon as his father walks in from work is a good idea, but teaching him how to manipulate a parent is not. Be careful not to instruct him in manipulating any parental figure by playing on any weaknesses. Teaching him how to be considerate and thoughtful is appropriate and should help him in most situations.
It is a wise idea to enforce appropriate boundaries if you are younger than or close in age to your stepson. Don't suggest you all go party together, show off your figure, or encourage relationships between your friends and your stepson and his friends. You are still a parental figure regardless of your age, and trying to be seen as “hot” by your stepson is not appropriate. You should hope that he sees you as a respectable adult that he can talk to and trust as a parental figure. Build a relationship of mutual respect that the two of you can have for a lifetime.