Sure, Atticus is just doing his dad-duty by providing guidance to Jem and Scout, but he's exceptionally good at it. He isn't afraid to speak honestly to his kids, and even explains what rape is to Scout when she asks. (Not that she understands the phrase "carnal knowledge.") And it's not just words: he also leads by example. And as the ethical center of the book, Atticus gives the reader a moral compass.
Now if only we knew how to use those things.