Mums furious over '50 things mothers aren’t teaching their kids' list

'Totally sexist article but also a bit out of date. Who darns socks?'

February 21 2017

Posting a link to the article in the Mumsnet forum, one mum writes: “To be furious at this article?”

The article titled The top 50 forgotten skills kids are missing out on was published on the My Kent Family website reports on the results of a survey for Addis Housewares, which claims millions of kids are missing out on important skills such as Handwriting, organising the laundry and making ‘proper’ gravy.”

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

Many in the Mumsnet forum have described the article as “horrendous”.

WTF! I'm too busy working and earning to teach my kids how to darn bloody socks!!! What I am teaching them is a good work ethic. Their dad can teach them how to make proper gravy!” one commenter said.

Another added: “Totally sexist article but also a bit out of date, I think. Who darns socks?”

On the other hand, another commenter said others were taking the article too personally.

Why are you taking this so personally?" they said. “This article is based on the facts, not opinions that what have been viewed as traditionally female skills are dying out. Surely this is a good thing, feminists? We can't have it both ways.”

Read the full list below. 


  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