What we should note is that it also serves his own agenda as keeping him from interacting with the kids when it's not fun keeps him from having to confront a problem that's hampered him all of his life: the fact that he's a terrible judge of character who takes years to see past surface impressions or through psychological defense mechanisms. As by way of example, Elly pegged Doctor Ted as a momma's boy the second she laid eyes on him. Anyone with a functioning brain would. It took John thirty years to come up with this chunk of the blazingly obvious:
His mom had finally passed away. I'd never seen him so humble. There was always a jaunty arrogance about him, but he was depressed, overwhelmed and in need. I had no idea he considered me one of his closest friends. He wanted to talk, so I put down what I was doing and listened. At the age of 54, the loss of his mother has left Dr. Ted McCauley feeling alone - orphaned. He's always had his mom to cook for him, do his laundry - even change his bed! For a man who outwardly acts like a playboy (and was even married for a while) he's just been a boy who lived with his mother.
because of the same factor that makes him think that real court trials should be like what he sees on Law & Order: a lack of patience with actually having to figure things out for himself when making a snap judgment that saves him time is so much easier. This tendency to breeze through life not really knowing who the people around him are costs him too damned much and makes him a worse, stupider person than he should be.