LESLEY KEATING: What about teaching kids to be well-rounded adults?

Lesley Keating
Lesley Keating
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My biggest fear was could she manage money on her own?

To be honest, I’d been dreading it. Her boyfriend had been living here too, so it was a double-whammy.

I’d lost them both to the giddy lure of new careers and the bright lights of Guildford.

I’d loved the bustle of family life, the laughter, family meals, the endless cleaning up after them – okay, well maybe not the last one quite so much – and was terrified I’d become one of those tragic mums that make shrines out of their children’s bedrooms and cries into their pillows nightly.

But my biggest fear was could she manage her money on her own?

At school she’d been hopeless at maths. She’s very arty and musically talented – which probably explains why she’s now a singer/songwriter and working part-time as a make-up artist, not a bank clerk.

But thanks to the patience of an amazing teacher in Year 11, she’d achieved her passport to the future – Grade C GCSE.

We breathed sighs of relief. This would equip her with the rudiments of money management, right?

How wrong we were. Okay, so she could tell you all about algebra and answer mental arithmetic teasers of the ‘John has 20 apples, then Jane buys two-thirds of them …’ variety, but had no idea at all what interest rates were, how bank accounts worked or even what a mortgage was!

My daughter had to learn fast when she began renting a home of her own.

Thankfully she is streetwise and emotionally intelligent, but school maths did her no favours.

I believe the National Curriculum now covers money management and budgeting. But why stop there?

What about teaching kids how to be well-rounded adults in general? What about how to vote, how to manage a home and do basic DIY, first aid, how to deal with difficult people, what employers expect of you and how to write a coherent letter or email that doesn’t involve text-speak?

How to negotiate, not only talk to people but to charm them. Even basic manners. Rant over...


I had one of those irritating phone calls the other day – particularly irritating as I had to virtually levitate across the room to grab my phone to answer what I’d thought was an important client call.

‘Our records show you had an accident in the last three months!’ said the caller, a tad too gleefully for my liking.

‘Really?’ I said theatrically.

‘So I assume your ‘‘records’’ will have my name then...?’

They hung up!

This reminds me of a colleague who took a similar call at work.

‘Gosh,’ she exclaimed.

‘Well, you called at just the right time because I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment now. That accident’s clearly given me amnesia!’

Think she hung up that time.


Hello! I’ve taken over the Monday column from Emma Judd and I thought I ought to introduce myself.

I’m a plate-spinning, working mum from Horndean, happily married for 25 years and owned by a rather possessive Yorkshire terrier called Milly.

I enjoy reading, cooking, travelling and live music. I’m also a self-confessed shopaholic, with a caffeine habit, and am allergic to penicillin, Elastoplast and idiots.

My interests range from current affairs to Tudor history and fashion, so they’re rather diverse.

I’m also not averse to telling it as it is, so I’m looking forward to sharing my views and opinions with you on a variety of things that I see, hear and experience. I hope you find them interesting...