The most irritating of these biases is that she has an aggravating tendency to react to what she thinks is happening instead of what's actually going on. As by way of example, we have to contend with her honestly believing that no human agency was involved in April's near-drowning and her inability to see that the way she behaves affects the people around her.
This habit she has of living in her own little world leads us to the second barrier to effective communication: her tendency to base what she says on an imperfect understanding of what's happening. History teaches us that Elly never seems to have all the facts at hand when she does say something. Take, as an example, this sequence wherein sight unseen she declares that a boy she's never met is a jerk when she doesn't actually know what she's talking about. While Molly is supposed to be a flighty little girl who doesn't know love is, she has a good point when she says that Elly hasn't any right to say what she did. She doesn't know this boy, doesn't know why contact has been cut off and can't seem to understand that said boy might not actually be a jerk. I don't know either but if I were Elly, I'd think long and hard about saying anything because I'd rather not be repeating hearsay.
This is because I would not want to be like the Pattersons and their friends when they ganged up on Therese. I have no idea what went on in the Caine house because all I have to go on is what other people say. Without proof of her 'villainy', I'd rather not condemn a woman as rapidly as Elly seems to have. We had enough of that sort of nonsense when we watched her punish her children for what she only thought they did.
This leads us to the last great barrier to her being someone her children can come to: her failure to remember that she tends to not react well to any insinuation that she herself is the problem. The man who writes Platypus Comix summarizes the problem thusly:
Now here we see Elly Patterson, the host character, as a woman of dim intelligence. Now, I ask you, why would a woman expect her offspring to come to her with their worries and problems IF said person is their parent?? That would be just plain wrong, and I'll explain why in full. Besides the wimpy implications of crying to Mommy, which was stylish in the preschool years but kind of dated by modern standards; there is also the fact that a parent will listen, and then criticise every move the child makes. Naturally they're not going to come to her for help if all they're going to get is her guano.
Simply put, Elly's tendency to interrupt what her children say with Reminder Number Eleven Thousand that their point of view is wrong and they should feel ashamed for having a viewpoint that isn't Mommy's tends to make her not someone they feel comfortable confiding in. Not, of course, that Elly is aware that the problem is on her end. She's still baffled that April knew that she wouldn't believe her about Kortney because she's convinced herself that she's something she's not: someone who listens.