Just when you think parents on the internet can’t get any worse, people are always there to prove you wrong. It’s like the online gods relish it, this smacking you in the face with a total prick them moment you start to believe there is more good than bad out there behind the profile pictures.
Today, it’s the man non-affectionately known as “Bean Dad,” and who has been thoroughly roasted on Twitter for his borderline abusive parenting tactics.
This thread has now been deleted and his account is private.
His actual name is John Roderick, and he’s the lead singer and guitarist in a band called The Long Winters. He chose to share an interaction between him and 9yo daughter on Twitter, one that began with her telling him she was hungry.
He was busy and told her to get some baked beans, put them in a pot, and start heating them up.
Now, we’ll ignore for now the dubious nature of baked beans as a snack and continue with the story – she didn’t know how to open the can, so she couldn’t get started.
At this point, he admits that he’d never taught her how to use a can opener.
He asked her how she thinks it works, she struggles for a moment, and then it seems like he’s going to just teach her.
You know, like a parent.
But no. He told her to figure it out and went back to his puzzle.
He ignored her continued efforts (and probably her growling stomach) instead. When she wanted to give up, he asked her to explain the mechanism. She had it mostly right.
She declared that she hated him when he continued to NOT tell her how the can opener works.
The daughter decided she didn’t want beans after all (who could blame her) when Bean Dad doubled down and informed her they weren’t eating ANYTHING until she figured out how to open the can of beans.
He admits the can opener is counterintuitive and not easy to figure out without instruction (you know, like the instructions most of us READ the first time we get a new can opener? Or someone TELLS US ABOUT before they make us use one?).
Eventually, she started crying, and he thinks all of this is funny, for some reason, and not in an eye-rolling, charming dad sort of way.
He lets it go on for six hours. He’d refused to feed her for SIX HOURS.
Then, she began to figure it out. He was smug.
He’s talking like he has something to be proud of.
He continued to be a dick.
I hate him.
He ends up basically calling her stupid and wishing he had more stories like these to tell. I cannot.
I promise you she does NOT wish there were more stories like this.
A few people defended his actions – one was even a therapist.
I love this. My son (8) just watched me open cans a few times and jumped right on it when I told him to do it himself. I think anyone who is freaking over this story just doesn't understand storytelling.
— Jennefer (@jenneferparr) January 3, 2021
But most people fell firmly in the “don’t do this” camp.”
I’m all about teachable moments and being self sufficient, but this isn’t parenting.
“My 9yo is bad at this, so imma make her struggle over it for 6 hours while she’s hungry and crying, and tweet about it.”
I hope she has someone else to teach her how to ride a bike.
— ClearingTheFog (@clearing_fog) January 3, 2021
That the lesson he’s taught is not a good one, in any way shape or form.
The main lesson you've taught her is to let men treat her like shit, to work for their love and approval, and never fully believe that she deserves to get even her simplest needs met. If I was your partner and found out you'd done this, you'd be dumped and thrown out by now.
— Shambolic Neutral (@BradfemlyWalsh) January 3, 2021
That her relationship with food could be permanently damaged.
Things you taught your kid:
– food must be earned
– disordered eating in the forms of food hoarding and punishing herself by not eating
– asking for help is futile
I’m not done yet….
— Racheline Maltese (@racheline_m) January 3, 2021
Parents have many roles, and while “teacher” is one of them, so should “trusted adult” be, as well.
I was a fan, John, but my dad doing stuff like this to me is the reason we aren’t close these days. What was fun for you was 6 hours of frustration for her, and the main thing she learned is “dad can’t be trusted to help me when I need it”
— Morgan Danielle (@imaginmatrix) January 3, 2021
And when one is parenting, you don’t always need to be the smartest person in the room.
You're an asshole, dude.
From one Dad to another, this story is nothing to be proud of.
You taught your daughter how little you care about her needs, and only your need to show how much smarter you are than she is.
FEED HER, THEN TEACH.
Then delete your account.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 3, 2021
I have to say, I agree with the people who are criticizing this guy, because I can literally feel the embarrassment and frustration and hunger of this poor little girl, who almost certainly hates her father a little more after the ordeal.
What do you think? Let’s hash it out further in the comments!