How we live together: the single dad and the teenage son

Leon Johnson, 15

When Mum and Dad split up, it was hard having just one parent; maybe I’ve had to grow up a bit quicker.

When we’re together, we enjoy it. We’re not looking for escapes or to avoid each other. I can talk to him about things and we have a lot of laughs.

I do the vacuuming and help out with the washing. The dog is the jam in our sandwich. I’m always home first, so it’s good to have the dog waiting for me. Dad will come home to find us watching YouTube together.

We’re good at giving each other space. If my mates come round, Dad will make himself scarce, and likewise, whoever is entertaining gets the living room.

At some point, I’ll leave home, but I don’t know how or when. After all he’s done for me, I want Dad to be free to do what he wants.

Gareth Johnson, 50

When my ex and I split up in 2013, Leon became more like an equal partner in our relationship. We’ve always liked doing things together: we climbed Snowdon last year.

Leon straightens my collar before work and tells me not to fall asleep in front of the telly. He’s easy to live with. He does his homework and pulls his weight.

If he lived with me for ever, I wouldn’t mind at all, but I guess it’s not normal. I wouldn’t have had this quality time with him if my ex and I had stayed together. I’m so proud of the way he’s turned out.

Telly bonds us. Sex Education on Netflix is our current favourite. It’s a bit near the knuckle: he hides behind a cushion sometimes.

When his friends are around, it’s his space and I respect that. He does the same for me.

If you have a story to tell about who you live with, fill in this form and tell us a little about your set-up.


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