How does the book To Kill a Mockingbird convey that Atticus is a good parent?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The book shows that Atticus is good parent in a number of ways. 

First, we should point out that Atticus is a single parent. His wife passed away. In light of this, we can say that Atticus' job as a parent is not easy. 

Second, Atticus spends a lot of time with his children. We can see this through many incidental details. For example, Scout knows how to read when her classmates are just learning to read. Scout learned how to read by reading with Atticus every night. 

Third, when Scout gets in trouble at school by Miss Caroline, Atticus does not reprimand her. In fact, he tries to make Scout understand the importance of school and she sees it. Here is a wise compromise that Atticus makes with Scout. 

“If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?”

Lastly, Atticus is always trying to teach his children lessons about life. So, for instance, Atticus has Jem read to Mrs. Dubose. Atticus wants to teach Jem about courage. Here is what Atticus says:

I wanted you to see something about her—I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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