- Self-serving dipshit fathers: As I hinted at, fearful petty tyrant Greg got himself a transfer so that he could not only step on a relationship with some bland clodhopper who dressed in a manner that scared the fool, he could also have help from the Pattersons in being a pompous ass. John decided to move down the block so he could play with trains.
- Transparent dishonesty about parental motivation: Just as John made huge noise about how a fait accompli was just an idea he was kicking around, Greg appears to have made a big noise about career advancement in the hopes that his daughter would aceept that as the primary reason he uprooted them.
- Underestimation of targeted teenager: They seemed to believe that they could get away with blatant lies because they thought that they'd raised gullible simpletons when that was clearly not the case.
- Weak-minded stooge mothers: Dim Connie was so excited to have a man in her life, she failed to see that said man threw her under the bus so as to take the hit for the move; Thinking-impaired Elly moved into a clapped-out old bungalow so she could get new stuff.
- Moral Cowardice: The reason I think that both John and Greg are chicken-shit rat bastard idiots is that most of why they threw their little wifeys under the bus was so they could avoid having to listen to their children. After all, they might end up being made to feel bad and that's just terrible.
- Unearned Martyrdom: Since the women are too stupid to realize that they've been shivved by Hubby and since they're too spoiled and selfish to care about anyone who ain't them, the presence of a hurting child is an occasion for Mommy to whine about being tyrannized by a spoiled brat.
- Parenting via stereotypes: In both cases, the legitimate concerns of troubled adolescents were dismissed as a cry for attention from children too young to know what they should want. Also in both cases, it took years for the alleged adults in the room to admit that just maybe they made a mistake.
- Dissonance between goals and result: Greg clearly intended to control Molly's behaviour by showing her what would happen if she didn't play ball; the end result was that he made it obvious that he didn't see her as having any right to an opinion that was not his. The consequence was to make him a non-factor in her life. John and Elly clearly intended to make April see that home was less a place and more a group of people; they ended up convincing her home was not in Milborough.
The moral, if any, of these two stories is that if you parent as if your children are your enemies, your children will become your enemies.