I still use the sewing box at my parents’ house. It sits in the same place it always has, in the cupboard under the stairs.

When I was a child my mum used to lift it down, hand me a needle and thread and teach me basic tasks like sewing on buttons and patching trousers.

Despite having only rudimentary skills, I did the same with my own daughters, showing them how to do tacking and blanket stitch.

My mum taught me many things: how to bake cakes - rock buns were my speciality, and gosh they were tooth breakers - how to iron shirts, and make beds.

Such domestic skills have been passed down through generations, but many are no longer being demonstrated by mothers because they are either seen as not relevant to modern life or can be found on the internet.

Organising the laundry and making ‘proper’ gravy, baking cakes and making biscuits are among the list of skill casualties compiled from a survey of 2000 mums conducted by a housewares company.

Nowadays everything can be found on the internet, with step-by-step instructions, and detailed films on YouTube. Dipping into this impersonal resource, I was the 983,928th person to view ‘How to Make Gravy’ and a whopping 2,331,067 people had watched shirtmaker TM Lewin’s film ‘How to Iron A Shirt’ before I tuned in. I didn’t realise the latter was such a complex task.

Even the simple practise of sewing on a button is covered by numerous short films, some using giant, purpose-made buttons to demonstrate the task. I was the 532,481th person to view one of these clips and was relieved to learn that I have been doing it properly all these years.

There is one advantage - at least YouTube lessons tend to do teach things correctly. Learning from parents or grandparents is a wonderful way to master skills, but you do run the risk of picking up bad habits.

My mum taught me to make beds, then I taught my daughters, but my husband has always scoffed at my efforts. His regimented boarding school life demanded neatly-turned out hospital corners, which for some reason I can never achieve. YouTube clips are, however, far from gold standard - most use fitted sheets, a real no no so far as my mum is concerned.

Of course some skills, such as polishing brass and silverware, are no longer passed on. I love watching my octogenarian friend polish her brasses, a task she used to do with her mother. It’s relaxing watching her, over a cup of tea.

And in our throwaway society things like darning socks and patching trousers are just not done.

The sad thing is that, once mastered, these skills are lifelong and it is a pleasure remembering how a parent patiently - or not so patiently in my dad’s case - taught them. My dad showed me how to light the fire and I still use his method to good effect: I will never need YouTube.

He also showed me how to wrap and store apples from winter, something I do every year at my home, while he does the same at theirs.

It’s all part and parcel of developing relationships within families and of a parent being a good role model.

The research found that modern mums estimate they learned 22 skills from their own mums, and use seven of them every day, with six in ten saying their wish they had learned more.

Not that all the skills passed on in person are competently replicated down the generations. Despite my mother’s expert instruction I have never been able to make edible gravy. To my mum’s horror, it’s always Bisto in our house.