(Strip Number 5141, Original Publication Date, 30 May 1989)
Panel 1: After school, Elly tells an unconvinced Mike that he deserved his punishment (for making Liz swear) and he should act like a man and see it through.
This means that Elly thinks that Mike is acting 'unmanly' by not wanting to endure hypocrisy and stupidity.
Panel 2: She then says that it's up to her and John to see that he and Liz emerge from the house as responsible, worthwhile adults and also up to them to give them rules and guidelines. This almost sounds reasonable save for the following inconvenient facts:
1. The use of the word 'emerge' reminds me too damned much of how April was said to 'topple' into the river because of their need to shirk responsibility when bad things happen.
2. The use of the words 'responsible' and 'worthwhile' mean that Elly thinks that there are irresponsible and worthless adults. The sad thing is that there are people like that. One of them thinks that Mike was put on this Earth to rake leaves and the other rescinds punishments because the seemingly compliant one resents it vaguely.
3. Rules and guidelines only help when they're consistent over time and teach children what cause and effect mean. Elly's rules and guidelines only teach the kids that she's a volatile loudmouth who doesn't understand them or the world around her.
Panel 3: She then explains that when they had children, they accepted a big responsibility (that they don't come remotely close to living up to yet still want a big cookie from Wilson Fisk for not turfing the kiddies) and part of that is (arbitrary) discipline (that ducks out on paying support payments to logical consistency).
Panel 4: Since he remembers that she's a punitive bitch with a mean backhand, a wicked temper and a refusal to admit to being wrong, he's closer to the truth than Elly and Lynn are comfortable with when he thought-bubbles that he bets that she loves every minute of it.
Summary: We are, of course, dealing with another example of Lynn taking time out of her busy schedule of castigating Aaron by proxy to sneak in some ritual Ursula Ridgway hate. Lindy clearly thinks that her mother only had her to have someone to be a shit to and this is why we get material like this. We get even more towards the end of the arc wherein we get a wish-fulfillment thing in which Elly/Ursula bitterly laments being an unloving, unfair monster who says hurtful and evil things that are lies like "You owe it to yourself to do better."