Un­der one roof The grand­mother and grand­son

The Guardian - Weekend - - Space -

In a new se­ries, we cel­e­brate all the dif­fer­ent ways we now choose to live to­gether – with ex­tended fam­ily, friends and even strangers. This week, two read­ers ex­plain what home means to them

Sharon McPher­son, 49

My daugh­ter is a re­ally good mother, but she got ill and Tyrese had to be­come some­one like a carer to his younger broth­ers and sis­ter. It was too much, and he was mis­be­hav­ing at home and at school. I was wor­ried he’d get into trou­ble if I didn’t take him in.

He’s a bright boy and since he’s been liv­ing with me, his be­hav­iour has im­proved. The rou­tine is good for him and I set bound­aries, though I be­lieve he needs fun and love. I’m in daily con­tact with his mother, so she knows he’s fine.

I love Tyrese dearly, but things are dif­fi­cult when you are a grand­par­ent look­ing af­ter a child: I can’t work full-time, so it can be a strug­gle fi­nan­cially, and it’s tir­ing. But I’ll al­ways be there for my daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren. Tyrese McPher­son, 11

When my mum wasn’t very well, she asked me to do a lot for my broth­ers and some­times I didn’t like it. My nan doesn’t ask me to do things – she does things for me. She can go on about stuff, like keep­ing the house tidy, though.

I miss my mum and sis­ter, but my broth­ers are an­noy­ing; I like hav­ing my own room at my nan’s.

I get pocket money when I do my chores. I like gam­ing and I’m very good at it. I also like Latin and maths, but I don’t know what I want to be when I leave school. Nan says the most im­por­tant thing is a good ed­u­ca­tion, so we can do what we want when we are adults. She helps me ev­ery evening with my home­work.

If you have a story to tell about who you live with, email fam­ily@ the­guardian.com with Un­der One Roof in the sub­ject line.

I wor­ried he’d get into trou­ble if I didn’t take him in

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