Imagine now, if you will, the boys' parents; when reminded that their son doesn't understand what they do for a living or act as if it matters, they're going to say that he's not supposed to and that his confusion and lack of concern is all part of being seven. They are not going to take it as a sign that he doesn't care about them because they remember being seven year olds who told their friends that Daddy works in a building and does stuff.
Now imagine that same boy in a household wherein the primary caregiver is a crazy narcissist with a martyrdom complex; we'd get and are getting life in the Pattermanse. Simply put, it kills Elly that Mike doesn't understand what's bothering her because she insists that he care about adult concerns when he just wants his mommy to stop yelling at him because she wants him to do things that don't make sense to him. Just as Elly more or less ruined Farley as a pet because she couldn't get it through her fat head that no matter how sincere she was, she could not make him stop being a dog, she warped Mike into the son of a bitch who rushed into a burning building to rescue a laptop while leaving his terrified family on a rickety fire escape by treating being a child as being mean to Mommy.
The reason for this need to make a child into a thing he's not and shouldn't be asked to be is, of course, depressingly easy to explain. It all has to do with Elly's blank-witted inability to understand how other people think; like any self-respecting creepy narcissist, she claims to be loaded with empathy but actually spends most of her time suffering from the delusion that everyone everywhere thinks the way she does about an issue. Her constant discovery that this is not the case teaches her exactly nothing because she thinks that the other person is trying to trick her or deliberately disobey her.