This lack of learning extends, of course, to John. The thing that he is constantly rediscovering is something Orwell said long ago:
The real question is whether it is still normal for a school child to live for years amid irrational terrors and lunatic misunderstandings. And here one is up against the very great difficulty of knowing what a child really feels and thinks. A child which appears reasonably happy may actually be suffering horrors which it cannot or will not reveal. It lives in a sort of alien under-water world which we can only penetrate by memory or divination.
This is, of course, because he pointlessly idealizes childhood as being a sort of carefree romp wherein fear, anxiety and hatred are simply words in a dictionary. He clearly means well when he says stupid things like "It doesn't matter if you don't have many friends at school because you're part of a family" but he cannot penetrate Orwell's under-water world because he doesn't remember the past clearly. He has, as I've said before, forgotten what it's like to be a small child filled with insane fears because the memory makes him feel weak and is thus to be avoided. This makes him a less effective father than he would otherwise be owing to his belief that he is being asked to sit around weeping hours on end about something the person complaining also knows to be inconsequential owing to his not heeding Orwell's advice about how useless it is to remonstrate children about how 'they should know better' when not knowing better is kind of a kid's thing.