Describe the good and bad points of Atticus's parenting in To Kill a Mockingbird.  

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus definitely has an interesting approach to parenting.  He is a single father raising two kids on his own at a time when it was rare.

Atticus does demonstrate some excellent parenting in terms of instilling strong values in his children.  He hires Calpurnia, he teaches them right from wrong, and he encourages empathy.  He is a respectful, considerate parent.  He does not raise a hand to his children, though he does threaten to “wear them out” on regular basis.  He teaches them to stand up for what they believe is right, and follow his example.

Atticus is not the ideal parent though.  He treats his children with what Scout refers to as “courteous detachment” and they call him by his first name.  He is too old to play with them most of the time, and he prefers to spend some solitary time with a book.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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