Recently, John Roderick published an apology letter for being Bean Dad-gate. In the letter, he detailed how he intended to come across ironically, did not actually starve his daughter, and feels deep remorse for how other people may have internalized the dramatic story. He claims that he didn’t understand that when posting the story, he would remind people very viscerally of abuse they had experienced at the hands of a parent. The idea that he would force her to solve a puzzle while she cried, withhold food from her, or bind her to the task for hours without a break all were images of child abuse that affected countless people very deeply.
“Bean Dad” On How to NOT Treat a Child
It only took two days for the now-notorious “Bean Dad” to become one of the first villains of the new 2021. On January 2nd, podcaster and musician John Roderick shared a rather disturbing story about his 9-year-old daughter who was hungry for a can of beans but unable to figure out how to open it. Just like any extremely online father, he decided to share some information regarding how he handled what he considered to be a “teachable moment” with the Internet.
In Roderick’s tweet, which was later deleted, he shares that his 9-year-old daughter was hungry and he was doing a jigsaw puzzle so he told her, over his shoulder, to make some baked beans. Evidently, she asked how because, after all, she is a 9-year-old. He contemptuously told her to open the can and put it in a pot. In the following tweet, Roderick shares that his daughter struggled for a while and with a dramatic, big sigh asked him to open the can. He refused.
One Twitter user then wrote in the comments that the story is nothing to be proud of. A number of people also commented about and pointed out how long the child had to wait to eat so she can “learn” her lesson.
Anxiety, Stress, Overwhelmed
Truth is, leaving children to fend for themselves does not foster independence. It is just the opposite. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that children learn best by mimicking and watching their parents. Research also shows that stress, anxiety, being overwhelmed, and hungry can all impact the learning process, stifling the ability of a child to learn a new skill.
If the “Bean Dad” saga taught us one thing is that the whole “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and figure it out on your own” mindset in parenting should be left in 2020.