Through both example and counsel, Atticus Finch teaches his children many virtues.
Charity (Charity is a theological virtue by which people love God above all else and their "neighbor" as themselves out of their love for God.)
When Scout comes home from her first day of school she does not want to return because she has been offended by her new teacher's remarks both about her and her father. She also feels that she has been unjustly punished and embarrassed in front of her classmates. Then, after listening to his daughter relate how she attempted to help Miss Caroline get to know certain students by explaining their backgrounds and habits, Atticus quickly realizes that the new teacher from Northern Alabama has felt humiliated by a first grader's display of such social expertise.
Atticus explains to Scout that she must return to school because he works every day and no one can teach her at home. He then counsels Scout to be charitable and respectful of Miss Caroline's feelings:
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view..." (Ch.3)
Later, both during and following the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus practices the virtue of charity and sets an example for Scout and her brother, Jem. He is kind when he interrogates Mayella, even though he knows that she is perjuring herself. Further, in chapter 22, when Bob Ewell spits on him after the trial, Atticus charitably "turns the other cheek" and does not retaliate against Ewell.
Atticus's lesson on charity is also extended to Boo Radley. Earlier in the narrative Atticus urges Scout, Jem, and Dill to "stop bothering" Boo Radley.
Social Justice (This virtue is concerned with equal treatment of everyone and the common good.)
In his closing remarks of Tom Robinson's trial, Atticus Finch explicitly speaks of justice under the law and how the equal treatment of every citizen is required in a court of law. By referring to this legal concept of blind justice, he urges the jury to be fair to Tom Robinson in reaching a verdict based solely on the facts of the trial.
Outside the courtroom, Atticus practices social justice as well. He is respectful of everyone. In chapter 3, for example, when little Walter Cunningham has dinner with the Finches and Scout ridicules his eating habits, Atticus shakes his head in disapproval. Taking her cue from Atticus, Calpurnia pulls Scout into the kitchen where she finishes the remainder of her meal.
Furthermore, despite the insults hurled at his children and himself, Atticus is polite to Mrs. Dubose because he understands that she is ill. He respects the right of the Radleys to be reclusive, and he treats all others with whom he has contact respectfully. Atticus does not discriminate against anyone, regardless of the person's social status or color.
Fortitude (This virtue is demonstrated in perseverance during difficult and trying situations.)
Atticus Finch instructs his children on this virtue when he has Jem read to the ailing...
Mrs. Dubose. She later demonstrates fortitude in her final days because before she dies she withdraws from the morphine to which she has been addicted. Bravely, she chooses to die being "beholden to nothing and nobody." Atticus tells his children that he has wanted them to see "what real courage is."
Atticus himself demonstrates fortitude when he accepts the position of attorney for the defense of Tom Robinson. Knowing the scorn and ridicule that he will receive, Atticus still chooses to do what is right. It is in his speech about Mrs. Dubose that he subtly alludes to his own decision to defend Tom Robinson:
"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." (Ch.11)
Although Atticus Finch is a rather unorthodox parent, he certainly sets a wonderful example for his children as a virtuous man.