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Are your kids clueless?

LaureRichis's confession this week on the TES online staffroom has sparked a wave of empathy from other teachers. He had come home to find his son on the computer, Googling "how to post a letter". Was this down to poor parenting skills, or the scourge of email?

Other posters were quick to share what they believed to be their own "parental omissions". Wordsworth reports: "When my daughter first left home, she asked me, `how often should I clean the bath?' I realised that she had never really done any cleaning before, muggins here has always done it all."

Copycat, meanwhile, has neglected one of her basic duties as a mother: "My 11-year-old cannot tie his shoelaces. My excuse is that he is left-handed so I find it difficult to demonstrate, and of course Velcro fastenings are to blame too."

Early-years teacher ditwee, who really should know better, forgot to teach her son how to use a knife and fork. Lamadelena's daughter called her when she was 19 to ask how to make a cup of tea. "The plumber was fixing the washing machine and she had offered him a drink. And I'm a food teacher," she confesses. Yentek says she never taught her 20-year-old daughter how to ride a bike: "She's going to Holland for three months and needs to learn, but it's proving very hard to pick the skill up at such an `advanced' age."

Some parental omissions could prove downright dangerous. Jeanettedav's 17- year-old "put the gold-rimmed plate in the microwave and wondered why it was sparking", despite studying A-level physics. You could always blame the teachers.

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