Atticus is a wise, intelligent single parent who tries to lead by example when it comes to raising and educating his children. During a talk with his brother, Jack (which Atticus allows Scout to deliberately overhear), Atticus tells him that
"I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town... I just hope they trust me enough..."
Although he is a busy man with his law practice and frequent visits to Montgomery for legislative sessions, he spends as much time as possible with his kids. He reads to Scout every night, even after her teacher, Miss Caroline, suggests they stop this practice. He stresses the importance of education (teaching Scout to read at a very early age) even though he did not attend school himself. He employs Calpurnia to watch over them while he is at work. He pays attention to their outside activities even when the children do not realize he is watching. He gives them a great deal of independence, hoping that they will learn about life through experience. And he teaches them not to pre-judge people, suggesting that they "climb into his skin and walk around in it" first in order to understand differing ideas and opinions.