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50 Forgotten Skills Our Grandchildren Are Missing Out on — But Still Need to Know


Traditional skills like knitting, letter writing, and pudding making are all dying out because parents aren’t passing down their know-how, according to new research.

Doing the dishes, ironing, and spring cleaning are also among the skills mothers aren’t teaching their offspring. Organizing the laundry, mending socks, and making “proper” gravy also feature in the top 50 forgotten skills.

The study, done by the U.K.’s Addis Housewares, found that over half of 2,000 moms of children age 2 and above don’t have the time to teach their kids these valuable skills.

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A spokesman for Addis Housewares said: “Our research shows many traditional skills are not being passed down anymore. 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 meding appears doomed, along with how to polish brass and silverware. We also aren’t passing down advice on how to make jam, patch a pair of pants, or descale a kettle.

On average, modern mothers estimate they learned 22 skills from their own moms and use seven of them every day. The most important skill for moms to pass down is cooking, followed by the ability to look after money and moral values.

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

Instead of asking his or her mom how to do something, one in 10 kids is turning to the internet for help. But six in 10 people polled said they wished they’d learned more skills from their own moms.

Below, you can find the full list of forgotten skills:

  1. Mending socks
  2. Patching pants or jeans
  3. How to darn a wool sweater
  4. Re-heeling shoes
  5. How to polish brass and silverware
  6. Recycling soap
  7. Letter writing
  8. Making jam
  9. Hand-washing clothes
  10. Crocheting
  11. Making chutney
  12. Knitting
  13. Hemming a dress
  14. Sewing buttons
  15. Making sweets
  16. Making homemade popsicles
  17. Descaling a kettle
  18. Sewing clothes
  19. Making a white sauce
  20. Storing winter/summer clothes away properly
  21. Making dough and pastries
  22. Handwriting
  23. Recycling vintage furniture
  24. Making pudding
  25. Composting
  26. Making proper gravy
  27. Jumping rope
  28. Lining a cake tin
  29. Making biscuits
  30. Growing vegetables successfully
  31. Baking a cake
  32. Spring cleaning a house
  33. Which season to plant seeds
  34. Fashion tips
  35. Cleaning an oven
  36. What certain flowers and plants are
  37. Landscaping a garden
  38. Washing dishes
  39. Getting stains out of clothes
  40. Folding clothes properly
  41. When fruit and vegetables are ripe
  42. Washing a car
  43. Getting stains out of carpets/furniture
  44. Writing cards
  45. Applying make-up
  46. Making pancakes
  47. Cleaning windows
  48. Interior decorating
  49. Organizing/sorting the laundry
  50. Ironing clothes

This post was written by the editors of Yours. For more, check out our sister site Yours.

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