Dear Abby: Dear Abby: Why not teach kids more about out-of-school responsibilities?

DEAR ABBY: Wouldn't it make sense if grade school teachers set aside time - weekly or monthly - to go over some very generic information that kids need to learn? I'm talking about things like how important it is to have pets neutered, how to manage money, what the average dad earns and what it costs to run a household and support a family. It might help kids to grow up understanding that money isn't free and get them past the "gimmes."

There are so many topics that ought to be introduced to youngsters at an early age - how to groom themselves properly, be exposed to a variety of music genres, teach them how grandparents can use help even from small children. They could be taught to be aware of their surroundings, to realize that foul language isn't an attribute and why it's important to be pleasant.

There are so many topics. Ten minutes a week on different topics would suffice. Why not?

- Chaplin, Conn., Reader

DEAR READER: Why not? Because teachers are so overwhelmed trying to get their students to learn enough basic curriculum to pass the state-mandated tests that they don't have time!

Reading your letter I couldn't help but wonder whose children you are describing. All of the topics you mentioned are things children should learn from their parents. Where are those parents? AWOL?