Letter: What will they be teaching them next in these classes?

This letter sent to the Star was written by CM Langan, Beauchief, S8

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 08:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 06:27 am

Well, would you credit it, there are now basic life skill classes for youths, teaching them how to...er...make a salad or an omelette! Oh, can you imagine their content, eg 'don't forget, you don't need to put salads in the microwave' and 'omelettes happen to be made out of eggs'?

What will they be teaching them next in these classes? How to flush the toilet rather than leave it to the next occupant? How to blow their noses rather than picking and flicking?

Excuse me, but isn't teaching youths these basic skills all part of life's rich parenting tapestry, or domestic science lessons at school, (unless 'nanny-state-itis' and 'health and safety madness' have done away with them by now)? Even I know how ridiculous these classes are as someone whose only experience of parenting is having my, (now adult), niece and nephew coming to visit. That said, I know there's many a teenager starting at university who've never even learnt how to boil an egg and end up living on takeaways.

Prior to this, their bedrooms at home were basically the valley of death, to be entered only by some brave soul wearing a gas mask to negotiate a path of prehistoric cups of tea and unidentifiable old pieces of food harbouring every strain of fungi known to man, along with mountains of dirty washing, sweaty socks and snot rags. It's left up to mum, or dad, to do all the donkey work as they're certainly not going to do it themselves. In these cases, maybe those classes are justified, on further reflection.

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As a non-parent, I'm in no position to judge or preach, but in circumstances where these classes are deemed to be necessary, something's gone badly wrong, whether it's parents who have to work extra hours being too manically busy or flustered or preoccupied to teach these kids basic skills, or schools that are too strapped for cash to provide sufficient lessons in these matters which get overlooked by everything else on the syllabus. Or parents have tried and tried and given up in despair or just can't be bothered. The list goes on. Whatever the case, a big mess has been made in this society if it's managed to find a market in teaching these ridiculously basic aspects of day-to-day life.