Teachers in the U.K. are concerned that parents are failing their children. In a talk at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Mary Bousted said that children are arriving at school without being able to dress themselves, use the toilet properly, or eat at the table. Chlidren from various economic backgrounds are beginning school with social and language delays that interfere with classroom learning and behaviour, according to Bousted. And that may not be the biggest problem – a recent survey indicates that 40% of teachers in the U.K. have been confronted by an aggressive parent; this finding suggests that kids are arriving at schools lacking basic skills, and parents blame teachers for the difficulties that result. Other research has shown that positive parent-teacher relationships are related to improved school performance. It seems reasonable to me that parents who don’t respect their child’s teacher might also interfere with the relationship between the teacher and the child as well, which could in turn reduce the child’s willingness to comply with instructions and their motivation to work on difficult assignments.