Real life seldom imitates old episodes of "The Brady Bunch." Most middle-class families don't employ a full-time maid, and mercifully few people wear polyester with such reckless abandon. Even fewer blended broods come together with the ease, harmony and good-naturedness depicted by Carol and Mike's respective families.
The reality is that it's simply not that easy for the majority of blended families to adjust to a new family dynamic. It takes years for most biological families to learn to co-exist with each other, so it's unrealistic to expect kids of any age to blindly accept and adapt to a stepparent with nary a hiccup along the way. Tweens and teens in particular are at such a difficult and emotional stage in life that they can be extra challenging for a new parental figure to bond with.
Fortunately, stepparents can take a number of measures to ease the transition and lay the foundation for a positive relationship with older stepkids. Keep reading for five ideas to help make this relationship work for the long term.