Atticus displays many positive aspects of his To Kill a Mockingbird character as well as his parenting skills during the chapters concerning the mad dog and Mrs. Dubose. Atticus apparently has pledged to never pick up a gun again following his earlier life as "One-Shot" Finch. But when he sees that he is the best man for a dangerous job, he rediscoves his deadeye aim once again, dispatching of Tim Robinson with a single shot to the head. However, Atticus does not want his children to know of his earlier skills, and cautions Sheriff Tate to "hush." He is not proud of his skill to kill, but the children soon learn the truth from Miss Maudie, who explains that "people in their right minds never take pride in their talents." Atticus' actions display the humility that is part of his makeup.
When Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose's camellias, Atticus lets Jem know that his display of destructive temper is not acceptable--no matter the insults tossed by the old woman. Jem is taught a lesson through his punishment, just as Atticus expects. He knows the true story behind Mrs. Dubose's request for Jem to read to her, but he thinks it best not to tell Jem until after her death. As uusual, Atticus does not mince words with Jem, and the realization of Mrs. Dubose's morphine habit, coupled with the gift that she has left for him, is almost too much for him to accept. But Atticus wants Jem to learn from his time spent with her, and his parental wisdom is just and appropriate.