In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, as the father of Scout and Jem, is a good parent, as he prepares his children for their future. This is highlighted when Atticus teaches Scout about empathy. Scout is complaining about her first grade teacher, Miss Caroline, and how she wants Scout to forget how to read. Atticus teaches Scout about empathy with this quote, ” You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”(Lee 38). This is important to Scout’s future because empathy is a key attribute in anybody’s life, but especially in Maycomb, Alabama with it being a highly racist community. This is in part due to the story taking place in 1930’s America, with very different backgrounds in their neighborhood.
This also leads to Scout maturing faster and being ready for events that come later in the story. Even though Atticus does not see the Tom Robinson case coming into his life, he knows that there might be a case like this, and how empathy would play a key role in helping Scout and Jem understand what was going on.Without the skill of empathy, Scout would be in a worse position later in life, as she would not be able to connect with a person, whatever their background might be, on a deeper level. Yet another piece of evidence, Atticus prefers to use more meaningful consequences with his children, as he does not use corporal punishment (whipping or lashes are examples) with his children. As Jem argues with Scout whether or not Jem should go alone to get his pants from the Radley’s yard, he says ” Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember” (Lee 75). When talking about punishment, most of the time, a form of punishment that includes some sort of withdrawal of an item or privilege, children will learn their lesson. In the case of physical punishment, children do not take as much away from their punishment, as the punishment is quick, and to an extent, the child could get used to it if that child got into trouble enough. While on the contrary, if a child has something taken away from them, they are more likely to remember what was done wrong and why it is wrong.
On top of that, one of a young adult’s greatest fears is that their parents are disappointed in them. Jem falls into this fear as well, as he does not want Atticus to be disappointed in him for going onto the Radley property and getting caught. Jem fearing disappointing Atticus is part of Jem growing up.The last example to note is that Atticus is truthful with his kids when they ask him about something. This trait is highlighted when Scout asks why Atticus is defending Tom Robinson. Atticus replies to Scout with the following ” For a number of reasons… the main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold my head up in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the state legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again” (Lee 100).
Trust is key in a parent child relationship, especially one with an inquisitive child, such as Scout.This is crucial as Atticus is being honest, as he knows that Scout deserves the truth, and nothing but the truth. By telling Scout the truth, he firmly puts away any doubt in Scout’s mind that he is simply doing this case because he can, it means more to him, and to the future of Maycomb. On top of this, Atticus indirectly teaches his children the importance of honesty, preparing them for their future relationships.When looking at this small sampling of evidence, it is quite obvious that Atticus Finch is a good father.
He prepares his children for the outside world and their futures. It is important to look up to Atticus as a role model for parents, as he is the ideal example of a single father, who does his best with his children to give them a good life. All of the evidence listed here showcases only some of the positive attributes of Atticus’s parenting style.