The first example of highly defective parenting is her bizarre need to make the habit she wishes to encourage seem like the Worst Thing Ever. We've seen how she brainlessly turned cleaning a room and enjoying nature into horrible punishments cooked up by a mind that her children swear only had children to have people she can torment unopposed; by June, we'll see her prevent literature by making it into a bad thing by being a belligerent idiot about it and also by not offering the kids something that they might actually enjoy reading. By stacking the shelves with reference books and how-to guides because fiction is lies, Elly makes life harder for herself.
She also makes her life harder by normally not actually punishing the kids at all. Normally, she says that this, that or the other thing is being done to them but she isn't usually good at follow-through. This allows Mike to be right when he expects that his punishment should be something that doesn't require him to change how he acts.
Finally, we have to deal with her warring instincts getting in the way. The Elly who wants to win at all costs is always in a fight with the Elly that wants to be their pal and the end result is that she loses and is seen as proof that once you turn twenty, you have to go to the doctor to have your ability to enjoy life removed because you're an old person who hates happiness like the dimwit who dare not crack a smile when the kiddies see it lest she be seen as human and capable of sympathy.