Six out of ten school leavers have no idea how to cook or iron their clothes. But, never fear, they do know how to use their iPhones!

With home economics classes becoming a thing of the past, and technology becoming more and more prevalent, it seems most kids would rather be attached to their gadgets than learning important life skills

Angry Birds on the PlayStation or a lesson in how to darn your socks? Yes, we do understand. When faced with this choice, we'd probably prefer to play a game, too.

kid with game controller

(Image credit: Voecht/Sierakowski/REX)

And technology isn't just for entertainment, of course. It's also very useful, especially when we're lost and fabulous GPS steps into help us navigate our way. Or when we need to call our friend to tell them we got lost and will be tardy. It's hard to imagine a world without it now.


Smartphones may be, well, smart, but what they can't do for you is sew holes in your shirts, iron your clothes or cook your meals. In the absence of robots (at least for a few more years), it's probably worth investing a bit of time in learning these key skills.

girls cooking

(Image credit: Photofusion/REX)

Despite this, many schools no longer include home economics in the curriculum, meaning that parents are its only possible teachers. According to a survey by Dr Beckmann, just 42% of parents say their teenage children know how to iron clothes or wire a plug.

The survey also found that 41% of mums and dads believe it's an obsession with techonology that stops their children being interested in doing things around the home.

girls cooking

(Image credit: Monkey Business Images/REX)

Meanwhile, 34% of parents say their older teens think nothing of going out in creased clothes because they don't know how to run an iron over them.

And when it comes to damaged clothes, many kids (32%) will just throw them out, rather than attempting to repair them. It's a long way from the make-do-and-mend attitude of our grandparents' generation.

People love to hark back to the past, but life has moved on - and improved in so many ways. Going back in a time machine to a pre-technology era isn't the solution, but there are certainly lots of things we can learn from previous generations. How to darn our socks is one of them.

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