My 4 year old daughter came to me this morning and asked me to teach her French knitting.  She had been watching me make an I-cord for her baby sister’s wool wrap and was fascinated by how quick and ‘easy’ it looked.  “Teach me pwease Mummy. I wanna be just like you!” she said.  This got me thinking.  What, if anything, did my mum teach me? Or my grandmas for that matter?

I remember a few attempts at teaching me to knit, closely followed by “This is impossible because you are left handed!”  This seemed to be a mantra for my life and I quickly learnt to teach myself the basics.  Since having my lovely children I have taught myself to attempt cross-stitch, knitting and making the occasional bad card.  Even sewing has been badly attempted with things quickly falling apart soon after.  I find myself lacking in particular talent in the general crafty area though and can only hope that my daughters do not follow in my footsteps.  I am continuing to pursue the necessary skills to lead a happy, thrifty, well rounded life as a housewife and mother, which hopefully they will learn along with me.

This makes me wonder further though what are the necessary skills required to pass down from mother to daughter, generation after generation? What skills did I miss out on? Like darning socks? Is this really necessary?  And what about father to son? What skills should be passed down here?

Traditions don’t seem that strong any more and I wonder if this is in part due to the busy lifestyles many of us now lead along with the throw away culture we have been brought up in.  Will things continue this way or are there enough determined Mummies out there to change things for the better?

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