The end result is that they end up losing patience with children who have the same poor ability to retain epiphanies they themselves have. As a for instance, John and Elly's resolve to treat each other better after his failed camping trip with Phil lasted only so long as they did something to irritate one another.
Why is it that Liz always felt ugly, that Mike never learned that bad things happen to other people too, that John never learned that other people have feelings and that Elly never seemed to be grateful for all the good things in her life? I should think that the root cause of all of this is a refusal to ask the question "Am I in the right on this?" As a for instance, if John had stopped to think about why his children irritated him so much, he'd quickly have realized that the problem is that he doesn't like it much when people think differently than he does. He'd also have admitted that his dad was right about his also being an annoying kid instead of the paragon his defective memory makes him.