The problem is that, well, she doesn't set the good example she thinks she does. It seems to me that Michael only does the amount of work for people that they themselves are willing to put into it. Given that Mrs Baird and his teacher actually do the things they say they're going to do, it seems fair to Michael to do as much for them as they're willing to do. In his parents' and uncle's case, he sees people who talk a good game about struggling through adversity but, well, FACTS prove otherwise.
For starters, we've got John and his constantly wanting to duck hard work by palming his honey-do list on a kid who simply can't shoulder a grown man's job no matter how tired that grown man might be and who also can't read that grown man's mind. It seems somewhat less than right to slave away from someone stupid and cruel who expects more than is possible.
Second, we've got Phil who stands around preaching about how Mike can't give up just when things are tough only to turn around and chew up a china coffee mug because
Speaking of people who have limited self-awareness, his primary care-giver is the real reason he doesn't give us much as he can. He sees Elly do everything she can to duck chores that irk her, he sees her collapse into a shrieking, blubbering ball of failure the second things don't go exactly her away AND he sees her quit in despair because hard work is boring and doesn't produce immediate results so he isn't going to give someone who won't help herself help she won't acknowledge anyway.