What are some examples that show Atticus's parenting skills in To Kill a Mockingbird?Please include what he is trying to teach his kids.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

THE BOO RADLEY GAME.  When Atticus catches his children playing their special game about the Radley family on the public sidewalk, he pretends not to know what it is about. When he asks them if it has anything to do with Boo, Jem lies and replies, "No, sir." Atticus accepts the answer, but he knows better. Scout senses that her father must have known, and the children limit their play-acting afterward. Atticus decides that a warning is sufficient (it is), and he realizes that the boredom of the small town leaves the children with little else to do.

THE COMPROMISE.  After Scout's terrible first day at school, she wants to quit. But Atticus proposes a compromise: Scout will return to school, and the two of them will continue their night reading--without Miss Caroline's knowledge. Atticus knows that Miss Caroline is wrong, and he knows that Scout will eventually enjoy school life, so instead of forcing her to go categorically, he allows Scout a choice that works to everyone's advantage.

SCOUT EAVESDROPS.  During the Christmas holidays at Finch Landing, Scout overhears Atticus talking about the Tom Robinson trial. But Atticus is aware that she is listening, so he leaves her with some advice that he wants her to hear.

"I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough.

Scout didn't understand how Atticus could have known she was listening, but

... it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said.

Once again, Atticus realizes that his children will be more likely to follow his advice if they think it is by their own choice and not by ultimatum.

fishman | Student

Here are a number of quotes. The page numbers in my book may not be the same page numbers as your book.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” --Atticus (pg. 30) 

"'It's against the law all right,' said my father, 'and it's certainly bad when a man spends his relief checks on green whisky while his children have a way of crying from hunger pains. I don't know of landowner around here who begrudges those children any game their father can hit.''Of course he shouldn't, but he'll never change his ways. Are you going to take out your disapproval on his children'" (p 34)

“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anyone says to you, don’t let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.”--Atticus (pg. 76)


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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