Millions of kids are missing out on basic life skills because mums aren’t passing down their know-how – including letter writing and how to sew, according to new research.

Washing-up, ironing, and how to spring clean a house are also among the things mothers aren’t teaching their offspring.

Handwriting, organising the laundry and making ‘proper’ gravy also appear in the top 50 forgotten skills.

The survey of 2,000 mums of children age two and above by Addis Housewares, found over half don’t have the time to teach their kids their know-how.

A spokesman for Addis Housewares said: “Our research shows many traditional skills are not being passed down from mums to their children any more.

“Some skills, like darning socks, perhaps might be thought of as a little old-fashioned, but some like handwriting and sewing buttons for instance are helpful things to know.

“Perhaps as the research suggests, mums are so busy working and looking after their kids – among other things – they understandably struggle to find the time to teach them what they know.”

The traditional art of darning appears doomed, along with how to polish brass and silverware and how to make a trifle.

Mums also aren’t passing down advice on making jam or marmalade, patching trousers and descaling a kettle.

On average, modern mothers estimate they learnt 22 skills from their own mums and use seven of them every day.

The most important types of skills for mums to pass down are cooking, followed by being able to look after your money and moral values.

Eight in 10 said their offspring enjoy learning things from them but 64 per cent think much of their know-how will no longer be relevant to modern day kids.

Instead of asking their mum how to do something, one in 10 kids are turning to the internet for help.

But six in 10 people polled said they wished they’d learnt more skills from their own mums.


  1. Darning socks
  2. Patching trousers or jeans
  3. How to darn a woollen jumper
  4. Re-heeling shoes
  5. How to polish brass and silverware
  6. How to recycle soaps
  7. Letter writing
  8. Making jam / marmalade
  9. Handwashing clothes
  10. Crocheting
  11. Making chutney
  12. Knitting
  13. How to hem a dress
  14. Sewing buttons
  15. Making a trifle
  16. Making homemade ice lollies
  17. Descaling a kettle
  18. Sewing
  19. Making a white sauce
  20. Storing winter/summer clothes away properly
  21. Making dough and pastry
  22. Handwriting
  23. How to recycle vintage furniture
  24. How to make Yorkshire puddings
  25. How to compost
  26. Making proper gravy
  27. How to skip (a rope)
  28. How to line a cake tin
  29. Making biscuits
  30. How to grow vegetables successfully
  31. Baking a cake
  32. How to spring clean a house
  33. Which season to plant seeds
  34. Fashion tips
  35. How to clean an oven
  36. What certain flowers and plants are
  37. How to landscape a garden
  38. Washing up
  39. How to get stains out of clothes
  40. Folding clothes properly
  41. Telling when fruit/veg is ripe
  42. How to wash a car
  43. How to get stains out of carpets/furniture
  44. Writing cards
  45. Applying make-up
  46. Making pancakes
  47. How to clean windows
  48. Interior decorating
  49. How to organise/sort the laundry
  50. Ironing clothes
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