As you know, I've always thought that most of Elly's malfunction as a parent stems not from her sullen hatred of the fact that she can't simply give the kids away whenever they do something to bother her but from her hapless incapacity as regards correctly understanding what's going on around her and gutless reluctance to enlighten herself in that respect. You'll have noticed that most of the time, Elly barges in and starts bellowing orders after it's kind of too late to really solve the problem owing to her wandering around life in a sort of fog that only lifts when something that she doesn't like impinges on her awareness. Given her low tolerance for being shocked out of the cozy bubble of catastrophic lack of situational awareness and lower tolerance for being disagreed with by people with lower status, it's not a surprise that suddenly being reminded that the small half-people still exist always seems to escalate.
What is a depressing surprise is that they see her as an angry figure who only seems to pay attention to them when they do something to displease her. She wants so very much to be thought of loving, fair, firm and kind but is constantly shocked and saddened by reminders that they see her as an angry disciplinarian who hates them and wishes they could disappear somewhere. This is, of course, because of two other bad habits she has. The first bad habit is the same one that makes her believe "Five years ago, I never used to worry about my looks but now that I'm this set age, I'm petrified by what I see in the mirror" when we know that she started worrying about her appearance and judging herself the loser in the race pretty much the same time she started realizing that her reflection wasn't another baby; this need to believe that suddenly, the children have started turning into a problem when they used to be easy to get along with when we know that she never got along with them at all leaves her staggered and angered by insinuations that she was always looking for a reason to come down on them like a tonne of bricks. Having to listen to her make exasperated noise about how 'suddenly' the kids she's always seen as chaos-loving monsters put on this earth to destroy her when it's known that she's always said that more than likely makes anyone who isn't Anne or Connie think of her as either having some form of brain damage or being a high functioning alcoholic.
The second bad habit came into play last Saturday and will come into play after Kortney gets her ass canned. Simply put, Elly's response to that situation where she was proven to be in the wrong was clearly to wonder how she could get past the whole sticky mess without actually having to apologize to April for doubting her and exposing her to danger. Back in the past, we were told why Elly never seemed to want to do so when she reminded herself that sticking to her guns even when she knew she was wrong was more important than being right; this means that no, she couldn't apologize to April because that would be an admission of weakness. This need to be firm about being in the wrong in order to make the kids respect her strength has the revenge effect of not only convincing her children that she's not in their corner and never has been but also making people around her see her as being "that stupid angry woman who seems to be looking for an excuse to scream at her docile and frightened children."
Simply put, if she'd had taken five seconds to see who starts things and why, she'd have saved herself a lot of grief later on and been thought of as being the mother she wants to be seen as. Too bad her priorities are so bloody messed up, eh?