To Kill a Mockingbird

Why is it important for Jem to not have Atticus punish him?

Chapter 6. Is he merely talking about hitting or something more?

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Jem really looks up to his father. He is determined to live up to his father's very high standards of civility and compassion. Jem should never be afraid of Atticus hitting him, Atticus is just too enlightened and progressive than that. Jem wants to Atticus to be proud of the way he (Jem) conducts himself as a boy and a young man.