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From the outside, it seems that Atticus is very hands-off in his children's upbringing. For example, it is odd how the children call him Atticus instead of dad. However, if we observe him carefully, Atticus not only loves his children, but he also tries to instill values.
One night Scout goes downstairs to get a drink and overhears Atticus talking with Jack. Atticus says that he hopes his children will not grow up and imbibe the hate of Maycomb County. He also mentions that the trial will bring hardships. Later, Scout realizes Atticus knew she was there listening to every word. Scout says:
"I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said."
From another point of view, Atticus always sets an example. In other words, he helps his children, not so much with words, but with actions. Later Atticus gives the reason for defending Tom:
"For a number of reasons," said Atticus. "The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again…Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one's mine, I guess."
Both of these quotes show that Atticus is a great father who leads by example, especially with his children.
"Scout,(...)nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don't mean anything—like snot-nose. It's hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody's favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.(...)I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes—baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."
"There's something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life.(...)The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box."
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