Free-Range Kids

Bean Dad Canceled After Letting 9-Year-Old Daughter Figure Out a Can Opener

Second-guessing other people's parenting decisions has become a national pastime.

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If you check out this thread that's been burning up Twitter, you will read a story almost as long as the six-hour ordeal the dad describes, which began when a daughter wanted some baked beans and a father, John Roderick—a.k.a. "Bean Dad"—told her to open a can and heat some up.

The problem?

Said daughter, age nine, had never used a can-opener, and dad decided not to show her.  He was busy with a puzzle. He would wait out the whole time it took for the girl (who must not have access to YouTube) to finally, desperately figure out that the dang thing is held parallel to the cylinder and fastens on the lip.

In 23 subsequently deleted tweets, Bean Dad wrote about every frustrated exchange he and his daughter had:

So I said, "How do you think this works?" She studied it and applied it to the top of the can, sideways. She struggled for a while and with a big, dramatic sigh said, "Will you please just open the can?" Apocalypse Dad was overjoyed: a Teaching Moment just dropped in my lap!

We'll see just how teachable in a moment. His tweets continued to describe the afternoon:

I said, "The little device is designed to do one thing: Open cans. Study the parts, study the can, figure out what the can-opener inventor was thinking when they tried to solve this problem."…

When the girl finally did puncture the can with the little wheely thing (really, how much do any of us really know about can openers?), she was triumphant, and  dad was too.

Then came the commenters.

Like beans spilled on the floor, they were all over the place. Some praised dad for believing his kid would figure it out. Through his tough love, his daughter learned to be resourceful and really earn those beans.

But many others chimed in with less appreciative commentary: "If you are still not convinced this guy is a fuckbag, you may want to consider whether you are not also a fuckbag." And, "Godspeed, shitgoblin." And:

Pretty soon the haters grew so vocal—some calling his actions child abuse—that Bean Dad took down his whole thread (preserved here). Then came the memes, of course. And then came the digging up of his prior tweets, some of which were shockingly and indisputably racist and anti-Semitic. Or as one tweet put it:

Bean Dad's daughter is now about 6 hours into watching her dad try to learn how to close a can of worms.

One worm-can included the fact that a podcast—My Brother, My Brother and Me—featured a song by a musical group that included Bean Dad in the 2000s. No more:

This incident leaves me with several questions.

First, when someone says or writes something you disagree with on Twitter, in a newspaper, or anywhere else, is this license to dredge up anything they've ever said publicly?

In truth, it does interest me that Bean Dad had posted disgusting tweets. It also made it much easier for me to categorize him. While some part of me had considered that maybe there was something plausibly positive in his parenting decision that day—his belief that his daughter would figure out a truly confusing problem, and savor her perseverance and lightbulb moment—once I read Bean Dad's past tweets I could very easily damn everything he did and said as cruel and reprehensible. It allowed me to label him, once and for all, as a jerk.

I'm not sure that's something we should be doing whenever we're faced with an idea that is new or ambiguous. Digging back, hoping to find evidence of a character flaw so we can easily dismiss or despise someone, seems to allow us to hate instead of think.

On a somewhat parallel plain, I'm not very happy about the pastime of publicly second-guessing parenting decisions. This hobby has had serious real-world repercussions. For instance, sometimes a child is allowed to play outside without supervision, or a child wanders off and it takes a little while for the parent to notice. These are normal situations. But in actual cases like these, onlookers have called Child Protective Services simply because they believe that taking their eyes off their kids for one moment isn't something they would ever do.

Absent real abuse, I'd rather us not be jumping in. Jumping in on Twitter normalizes the practice of hating and shaming as a virtuous thing to do. Jumping in on real-world parenting situations does the same. But being a virtuous child protector requires actually protecting kids, not sending the authorities after people we disagree with, dislike, or disdain.

Judging people as quickly and harshly as possible may be a normal human impulse. But it's heating up faster than a bubbly pot of baked beans. (And now I'm hungry.)

NEXT: As Key Georgia Senate Election Looms, Republicans Are Making It Difficult To Root for Divided Government

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  1. As well as being a recognized musician and blogger, this fellow is also involved in Seattle city government. That alone seems enough to criticize him.

    1. Maybe he’s simply trying to let Seattleites figure out how to clean up the city on their own, culminating in a tweet-able learning experience?

      1. The reason the coastal elite can’t seem able to open a can of whoopass is because they simply don’t know how to open cans.

        1. That and finding organic, free-range whoopass is nearly impossible.

          1. Don’t forget fair trade!

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            2. And non-GMO

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            3. Can fair trade exist in a world where there is always someone desiring to complain about something at any time? Seriously, if I buy a car for what I believe to be a fair price there will always be someone who thinks I paid “da corporate thieves” too much.

              Simultaneously there will always be someone who thinks I didn’t pay enough because my choice “put union workers out of work”. The exact same criticism will be cast at the seller because “worker exploitation” or whatever.

              In short, it doesn’t matter there’s always a victim and an oppressor. Which is which just depends on the perception of the twiddler and the narrative they spin. I’m sure nobody complained about a nagging kid who couldn’t bother to make a bowl of cereal, a ham sandwich, PB&J, whatever. They focused on opening a can of beans not creating a serious burn hazard on a hot stove but opening a can. I mean the poor kid could have burned the house down and killed everyone inside but these sanctimonious twiddle assholes focus on opening a fucking can.

              See what I mean?

          2. You got me ROFLMAO!

    1. And eaters of feces gonna eat feces. Like you do.

        1. I am making over $9k a month working part time. I stored being attentive to different human beings inform me how much money they are able to make on line so I decided to lok into it.MHb well, it turned into all actual and has completely modified my life.

          That is what I do………. Home Profit System

  2. Yet another reason magazine article that uses harsher language to describe and that takes more offence to “racism” than dictatorial lockdown tyranny.

    Get bent.

    1. I’ve noticed that too. Governors and mayors shutting down businesses are just bad policy makers. THIS guy, who taught his daughter how to do something, is an asshole.

      1. And he did better than teach her, he prodded her into figuring it out herself.

        These are big wins. I’m constantly trying to not do too much for my kids so they develop a sense of mastery. It isn’t easy. Its usually simpler to just do it myself but then they don’t grow up.

        1. Rabbithead, I agree with you 1000%! This nation needs more parents who MAKE their kids FIGURE OUT CERTAIN THINGS FOR THEMSELVES. The mentality of this country is in a very, very bad place when one is deemed a bad (even abusive) parent for letting their kids learn, succeed, or fail on their own merits.

          When a parent is subjected to such scorn, all it says to me is that there are a bunch of losers out there who have to belittle everyone else around them to make themselves feel better and/or morally superior. It says there are a lot of leeches who still live at home long after reaching adulthood because their parents have never demanded they grow up and act like responsible young adult men and women. These are the kids where parents never required the kids to ever figure out anything on their own and protected them from nearly every skinned knee, disappointment, and failure (THINK THE PARTICIPATION TROPHY MENTALITY). I guarantee you if you put THEIR LIVES under a microscope you’ll most likely find a great deal more trash than the one they’re trashing in the new public square that is ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA.

  3. I am reminded of Clara, who taught her toddlers to use the microwave so she could spend more time online in her MMO. While Clara is a spoof, my distant ex-girlfriend must have been the role model for Clara. No stories told, but when the Family Court judge says “Dear God! The father gets full custody! “, you know it was bad. She tried to reschedule that court appearance because she had to be at a D&D game.

    But back to this dad. Maybe he’s a douche nozzle, maybe he’s not. But as an ex teacher, I just had to cheer. Children learning how to operate life is essential to their development. It’s a key part of Montessori preschool development. Preschool, not third grade like this kid. And that’s Montessori, usually known for being the trendy liberal elite preschools of America.

    That he’s getting severe pushback from the liberal elite twittersphere is disgusting. At what age do they think children are ready to lean about can openers? Do parents still have to make their precious snowflake college kids their instant ramen?

    1. This story skims over part of it, though. If she didn’t get it solved in the first hour, nor the second, and he banned her from using google, why did he make her struggle for another FOUR hours?

      If you let her try it for a length of time, and she can’t figure it out, it will be memorable when you do show her later on. Encourage your kids to try to solve problems on their own, but don’t force them into re-inventing the wheel every time they have a question. People are meant to learn lessons from others. The Wright Brothers didn’t have invent the wheel, the spoke, the screw, and the combustion engine in order to invent manned aircraft.

      1. Yeah it was Charlie Taylor who built their engine!

      2. And the dad didn’t make her invent a can opener, like the Wright Brothers she had to learn how to use it

      3. So missing parts of story. Of course.

      4. re: “why did he make her struggle for another FOUR hours?”

        Because she was obviously interested enough to continue the struggle.

        Seriously, do you think she would keep struggling if she weren’t engaged in the puzzle? Or is it that you think she could have starved to death in the meantime? Good lord, who are you to evaluate how long any given child should work on a problem? What makes you more qualified than the parent who actually knows the child?

        By the way, the father didn’t force the kid to invent anything. As you say, the Wright Brothers didn’t have to invent the wheel, the screw or the combustion engine but they sure as hell had to understand them.

        1. Many people teach the positive essence of boredom, which causes curiosity in kids. Now people parent shame parents who want their kids to figure things out instead of googling.

        2. She was interested in eating. That’s what I took from it. It was the only food in the house [or so he says, anyway], so it’s not like she had many options. Let’s not make this more than what it is.

          Hell, even the dad was hungry, as he said himself, actually, so why would he starve HIMSELF for six fucking hours instead of just opening the damn thing? Irrational all the way down.

          Not only that, but now he’s deleted his fucking account! Now, the girl probably thinks he’s not only a total asshole, but a putz as well! All because people on twitter were mean to him, LOL. I mean, for fuck’s sake…

          1. I assumed that they ate something else in the interim, while the bean can became more a puzzle than sustenance.

            Who goes six hours without feeding their kid?

            1. As a kid, I remember lunch around noon. Dinner was after dad got home at 7.

              We didn’t die by waiting. If we got hungry, grabbed an apple.

              You don’t have to feed a child every 5 hours or less.

        3. Amen, Rossami. I am convinced that ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA is the most virulent poison ever injected into civilization. Since FB and Twitter, people have shown what hateful, vicious individuals they can be and you know why? It’s easy to trash talk someone when you don’t have to stand there face-to-face to do it. There are zero consequences. I would be willing to bet that most of the mean-spirited, hateful, and hurtful comments one sees would never be made if they had to do it standing toe-to-toe with the individual they want to tear down and destroy with their vitriolic, venomous words.

      5. But they had to deal with incorrect information about aerodynamics. They made their own equipment from scratch to do experiments to replace that faulty information. Oh, and figure out how to control an aircraft in three axes, after figuring out that control was necessary. They even figured out adverse yaw, having no teachers nor even a fully functional aircraft. Those guys deserve a shitload of credit. Sorry for off-topic.

      6. She didn’t “struggle” on it for 6 hours straight. She worked on the problem for a bit, went away and read her book for a while, came back and tried some more, took another break and so on. For her it was *one* of the things she was doing that afternoon, not the *only* thing she was doing.

    2. Seems to me he could’ve worked on it with her the first time, then let her give it a go herself a second. But sounds like he was too busy to be bothered spending real daddy/daughter time with her. But that’s their business and none of mine. To each his own.

      1. How is it that, at age nine, she had never learned how to use a can opener? And then the father suddenly decides that she must figure it out for herself – not in privacy, but with him giving play-by-play commentary on the internet. I think the girl could rightfully resent being made a spectacle of for her dad’s Twitter buddies. Yeah, the guy was a jerk. (Which has nothing to do with the value of music he made years before.)

        1. a) She probably has zero concept of twitter at her age and
          b) How on earth are you so personally affected by this as to determine the father is a jerk?

          Not just you, but others here and on twitter know next to nothing about this guy yet feel like experts compelled to provide the proper stinging insults. It’s very odd.

      2. You still judged the father and condemned him. “Seems he was too busy to being bothered with real daddy/daughter time…” sounds like you’re judging him as a poor father before saying, “But that’s their business and none of mine.” If you really believed that statement, why did you have to put him down in the first place?

    3. Brandybuck, you are 1000% spot-on, my friend! This dad is doing his child the biggest favor imaginable. He’s making her THINK. He’s making her REASON. He’s making her DO A MENTAL PUZZLE. Kid’s need to be able to think for themselves. They need to be self-reliant, self-starters. The worst thing you can do is let a child grow up without having to struggle for or with anything.

      Remember the old butterfly illustration? If you peel the cocoon away from an emerging butterfly, you’ve killed it. It will never be able to fly. Why? It’s the struggle of freeing itself from the cocoon that develops the wings and wing muscles. That STRUGGLE is essential to proper development. In today’s society we have far, far too many helicopter parents who hover over their children’s every move. They go ahead and clear every obstacle and never let them fall down, bang their knees up good and proper, or learn from their own failures. Kids raised in this manner are the reason we have a pandemic of libtard stupidity in this nation today! We have kids in adult bodies who expect the government to tell them everything they need to think and do. They believe in letting the government support them because they’ve never had to WORK for anything.
      Lastly, no parent should be criminalized for letting kids play unsupervised outside. Remember Lenore Skenazy? She’s the NY Mom who let her 9-year-old son, who had been begging her to do this, take the subway and a crosstown bus home on his own. She almost lost her child because of allowing her son some independence. This is what I see as fruits of the “pedophile behind every blade of grass” hysteria that the media loves to keep on a full, rolling boil. This kid did just fine! It is so wrong-headed to what-if another parent’s decisions into “the child could have been killed or worse” scenarios from the sidelines and then try to criminalize the parents for it. This shows far too many people don’t have a gainful way to fill their time. If anyone has the time to set their and armchair referee every other parent’s decisions, they need to get a life.

  4. But many others chimed in with less appreciative commentary: “If you are still not convinced this guy is a fuckbag, you may want to consider whether you are not also a fuckbag.”

    Some people want to go through life being led by the hand, and they demand that everyone else do it too.

    1. They sound like sullum and the cosplay crew.

    2. Led by the hand? Teaching a fucking nine year old how to open a can opener in less than six hours isn’t being “led by the hand”. It’s called efficiency.

      I don’t care what your “motivations” are. Should’ve taken 10-15 minutes, tops. If she can’t do it, FUCKING SHOW HER. If you can’t get a fucking nine year old to open a goddamn can in under six hours you’re a failure as a father. Period.

      1. Replace can opener with rubik’s cube. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes – the point is to figure it out on your own. Showing them how defeats the point. (If hunger is becoming a real issue, dad should have said ‘I’ll make us something to eat, but you keep working on that’).

        Learning to figure things out on your own is a good skill. There won’t be a youtube tutorial for everything. And not giving up because its hard is also a good attitude. I’ve got a lot of respect for that little girl staying at it until she figured it out.

        (Not going to disagree tweeting about it was an asshole thing to do).

        1. Hunger was an issue. She was already hungry when the saga of the can opener started and, six hours later, she was hungrier. Dad used that hunger to “motivate” her while feeding her nonsensical questions. It was just like Socrates after his lobotomy.

        2. This is a good object lesson that proves the utter stupidity of posting every detail of your PRIVATE LIFE on VERY PUBLIC ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA!!!

      2. If a guy can’t figure out how to parent in 15 minutes, then what?

      3. Show us all on the doll where your dad hurt you snowflake.

        Seriously, given the amount of anger you have over nothing, you need therapy.

  5. It’s 2021 and we’re well into the 21st Century, and you’re just finding out that the Internets can be a harsh place?!?

  6. Let’s face it, the world a long time ago ran out of high horses. I don’t know what all these people are sitting on.

    1. Giraffes.

    2. Piles of high horse shit…

      1. Careful, you’re making SQRLSY hungry.

    3. Well, look who just rode in on their high horse! Hrumphh!

  7. I mean, if this saga went on for six hours, then what the hell. I’m all for teaching children to be pro-active and figure things out, but there’s also a role for actual teaching to happen. If you let her struggle at it for an hour and she doesn’t get it, then you step in and show her.

    If someone told me to calculate the area underneath a sine curve without ever teaching me about derivatives and integrals, I would stare at that shit for weeks without learning it.

    The guy is not a child abuser, he’s just a shitty teacher.

    1. First, beans, cans, and openers are rather concrete. Sine curves aren’t. No amount of beating a sine curve with a hammer will cause it to spill the beans. It would take weeks because you don’t have the intellectual tools to calculate the area under a curve, she, OTOH, has arguably the apex tool for opening cans of beans in hand.

      Second, as a parent, I disagree and could plainly see plenty of very typical contextual bullshit that got left out. If the preceding (several) meal(s) already had beans or was composed entirely of “I don’t want [whatever was served].” Yes, you absolutely will eat what was prepared for you or learn to make it yourself. I say this as a former kid who would only eat freshly-prepared kraft mac ‘n cheese.

      Spend some time around manipulative kids who feign helplessness in order to get what they want, it might shift your perspective slightly. As long as she wasn’t severely malnourished and desperately begging to get her one can of beans this week, he did fine. He’s not a trained educator and there’s lots of life for which there are none.

      1. Second, as a parent, I disagree and could plainly see plenty of very typical contextual bullshit that got left out. If the preceding (several) meal(s) already had beans or was composed entirely of “I don’t want [whatever was served].”

        If that was the problem, he could have stopped. After this went on a couple of hours, she gave up, frustrated, and said, “I don’t want beans anymore.” And then he told her that neither of them was going to eat anything until she got the beans opened. He was determined that she had to figure this out for herself.

        I’d encourage you to read the whole twitter thread he posted. That’s even his own words and probably trying to put the most positive spin on what happened, and I’d still say it’s not well done.

        I don’t blame him for encouraging her to be pro-active and to figure things out for herself. She seems pretty clever. When he asked her to explain the parts, she pointed to the wheel, to the gears, and to the cutting blade, but couldn’t quite figure out how to get it to work. That’s where a parent should step in and give pointers, but he refused to show her how to even hold it properly. And he wouldn’t give her anything else to eat even when she decided she no longer wanted the beans.

        1. And also keep in mind this wasn’t about her learning the task on her own. He banned her from looking it up on youtube. You’d think a parent would be happy for their child to seek out information which would help them complete a task.

        2. So, when she comes across a problem that can’t be solved by an hour’s worth of fumbling or searching on Google, then what?

          Singapore math has been touted throughout my kids’ elementary education. One of the factoids used to sell it is that American kids, when challenged with a math problem they can’t (possibly) solve, will give up after 15-30 min. while Asian kids will work for hours on end to not solve it and schools even teach them to value the struggle more than the result. I don’t exactly agree with the message the message the factoid is trying to convey (“I don’t have the tools or ability to solve this problem.” is the right answer and Americans get there quicker), but it’s a cultural issue.

          So, as such, as long as the kid isn’t starving to death which will compel ‘us’ to imprison him for neglect, I don’t care enough to read the stupid Twitter thread and, moreover, my reading the thread isn’t going to make things any better.

          1. I’m not saying he’s a child abuser or anything. I’m just arguing that he did a very shitty job at using this teachable moment. The first steps are good, getting her eager to solve the problem on her own and to think about how the device works.

            When I bought a futon from Ikea, I didn’t just look at the parts and assume I’d figure out how to make them all fit together. I pulled out the assembly manual. Was that cheating?

            1. “I pulled out the assembly manual. Was that cheating?”

              Did you spend at least an hour cursing the Swedes and insisting they forgot at least 2 parts first? If no, you cheated.

              1. I pulled out the assembly manual. Was that cheating?”
                Turn in your penis. You no longer are a man.

            2. I followed your exchange with mad.casual – great exchange. I have to tell you, I am persuaded by the ‘we don’t have all the context’ point that mad.casual made. Why? I am a parent too. And I can’t really second guess the father here, either. Believe it or not, I can easily envision a scenario like that happening with any number of parents and children. Nor do I think it is bad, per se.

              My grandfather had a great way of putting it. He would say, “You wasn’t there, Charlie” and what he meant was that you weren’t there in that moment to make that decision, or live that experience. It was a pretty good life lesson, now that I reflect on it.

            3. No. The manuals from Ikea make it tougher.

            4. I rescind my earlier comment. If he said nobody was eating until she opened the can, then he’s a douche.

              I was picturing one of my kids, who I could easily see eating a PB&J while taking on the can as a puzzle.

        3. Yeah, he was willing to starve HIMSELF over this, haha. For six hours. Six. Hours. He’s definitely committed, I’ll give him that. Stupid, but committed.

      2. The apex tool for opening a can is a 400 Weatherby

        1. If I were this kid and I hadn’t figured it out in an hour I would have resorted to a hammer and screw driver. I know, because I did that once as a kid when the can opener broke.

          p.s. Was this old style can opener widget, can opener end of a swiss army knife, normal manual can opener, or electric can opener? I dunno. I would still take me about ten minutes to get that widget working, and that’s after knowing how it works!

          1. In our backpacking days you just packed a couple of those p-38 little army surplus can openers. They were cheap and worked remarkably well.

          2. That’s funny. until my wife moved in with me, my only can opener was a swiss army knife. When we first started dating she asked how I made past sauces without a can opener. I pulled out tomatoes onions sugar salt and spices.

            1. I was kind of wondering if it was an “all fresh food” household, and that’s why a can was kind of foreign to her

              I could see baked beans being one of the few things people rarely make from scratch

      3. Oh kids go through those picky phases. We had a go to alternative menu. Fish sticks, Mac and cheese or PJ&j. I swear if you analyzed the composition of my now grown daughter 80% of her is made of those three things.

        Try this experiment. Make the kiddo stay at the table until the plate of what you prepared is done.

        Weigh the family dog before and after a month of that.

      4. mad.casual, you are so right! There isn’t a parent or person out there so perfect they can cast stones at everyone else. We ALL live in glass houses in one way or another, so NONE OF US should cast stones.

        Also, this does prove how damaging and hurtful it can be to put every detail of your everyday private lives on ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA for everyone to read.

    2. I give the girl great credit for sticking to it and making an understanding. Maybe BeanDad knew she was capable that way.

  8. Feeling superior has never been easier.

  9. Seems like the root cause of his problem is that he Tweeted something. Never make that mistake.

    1. I had to dig, but I found screenshots of some of his tweets. He’s not a monster or anything, but he’s definitely a guy who has zero filter.

    2. Is he a real asshole? Or does he just play one on social media. Live by social media, die by social media. It’s not complicated.

  10. “And then came the digging up of his prior tweets, some of which were shockingly and indisputably racist and anti-Semitic.”

    How about linking to examples so we can judge that for ourselves?

    1. +1 “Don’t be such a Jew with the links.”

      1. He really is being niggardly with examples.

    2. Take a lesson from bean dad and search to find them for yourself!

      But since I’m not bean dad, here’s what I found:

      https://www.thewrap.com/bean-dad-deletes-twitter-account-anti-semitic-homophobic-tweets-resurface/

      1. They’re mostly funny or correct.

        1. “mud people apologists” is funny or correct?

          1. The VERY NEXT SENTENCE indicates the sarcasm.

        2. Anybody assuming that he SUPPORTS racism and Nazism is a moron.

          ….oh wait, Soledad O’Brien fell for it, so my point is proven.

      2. Given some of those, his desire to teach his daughter to figure out things on her own may well be his most redeeming attribute.

      3. Jesus, I hate people sometimes. Yeah, making some bad jokes is what makes you a Nazi. And supposedly serious reporters should totally spend their time on shit like this. I like how O’Brien had to step away from Twitter for a minute to actually do her job and missed out on the fun.

  11. On a somewhat parallel plain

    Literally parallel to the pains of Africa, Spain, or North America in the Reimannian sense or figuratively parallel to a conceptual plane in the Euclidian sense?

    1. I wonder about that too.

    2. Author is obviously another victim of the public school system.

  12. Open a can of beans, your daughter eats for a day; make your daughter open a can of beans, she eats for a lifetime.

    1. What’s even the point of having kids if not to train them to do menial tasks you don’t want to do anymore?

      1. No lie, my 9 year old just made me lunch: homemade taco bowls with guacamole and fresh salsa.
        The decision to have kids is finally paying off.

        1. You’ve missed out on almost a decade of using your kids as cover for your childish preoccupations!

          Really, you’re just now getting to the point where you can make the kids prep the meals and take the garbage out while you get past the part of the video game that they’re stuck on.

          1. Or enjoying that first mug of steaming coffee while watching them shoveling the driveway.

      2. Growing up my dad asked me to do something, I said why don’t you do it? His responece was I had a son so I didn’t have to

        1. Your dad and mine must’ve gotten the same instruction manual. I grew up in Syracuse, if anywhere on Earth justifies owning a snowblower it is Syracuse, NY. We didn’t have one, and I once asked my Dad why not. His response was “I’ve already got shovels and children”.

          1. LOL…Too funny. I borrowed a page from that manual with mine also. They shoveled the driveway. 🙂

      3. What’s even the point of having kids if not to train them to do menial tasks you don’t want to do anymore?

        This country started to decline when most/all TVs started coming with remote controls.

        1. Sorry, but TV remotes are one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

  13. This is fine. He probably has may dads favorite saying to “Don’t make your problems my problems.” Words to live by. This kid will be fine.

    1. Sounds like my manager on my first engineering job – “I’m not paying you to bring me problems”.

      1. Sounds like my manager on my first engineering job – “I’m not paying you to bring me problems”.

        That same manager after an unaddressed problem causes major issues and his boss rips him a new one for it: “You mean you knew about that problem? Why didn’t you inform me of it?!!”

        Me: “Well, it was outside of my authority/ability to fix, and since you don’t pay me to bring you problems I just kept doing my job.”

        1. You are a terrible employee.

  14. Canned beans cause global warming
    Teaching critical thinking skills to children is a white supremacist idea

    Put the two together and you have a perfect Twitter shitstorm

  15. All comments here, save this one, are the mini-scale version of the twit fit.

  16. My daughter loves to cook. When she was 9 years old, she would call me at work and ask me to pick-up stuff from the store. I was always with her when she did things with knives and fire, but so long as she cleaned-up her messes, I pretty much let her do whatever she wanted to do.

    A lot of her experiments didn’t go as she wanted, but she was pretty persistent.

    That was 25 years ago, and she still loves cooking. Sometimes, learning to do it yourself is the best part.

  17. When I was giving my eulogy for my father, the thing that most captured his character for me was that when I ran into something I didn’t know how to do, he’d always say, “Let’s figure it out.”
    He didn’t tell me. He didn’t do it for me. On the other hand, he did stand by, watch, and ask questions that helped me. If that’s what “bean dad” was doing, it’s about the farthest from abuse that I can think of. It’s helping a child grow into an adult that knows how to figure things out.

  18. Said daughter, age nine, had never used a can-opener, and dad decided not not show her. He was busy with a puzzle. He would wait out the whole time it took for the girl (who must not have access to YouTube) to finally, desperately figure out that the dang thing is held parallel to the cylinder and fastens on the lip.

    What’s hilarious about this is I figured out how to do this at a younger age by simply watching how my older relatives did it. Hell, they even let me help a few times after that when I asked them.

    Also, it’s telling that the people criticizing him for teaching his daughter to be a STRONK INDEPNDNT WUMUN are the usual fragile progressive wastes of life. The OP, of course, lists his pronouns in his Twitter bio.

    Every single one of the people saying how awful he is for teaching his daughter some self-reliance deserves a claw-hammer to the skull.

    1. Red Rocks White Privilege, with the claw part going in first!

  19. When she was 9 years old…
    I was always with her when she did things with knives and fire…
    That was 25 years ago…

    And the funniest part is how insanely the zeitgeist has shifted around you. 25(+) yrs. ago when I was nine, I carried my own knife and had free access to matches/lighters. Your ‘always being with her’ would’ve been helicopter-y.

    I blame you for this mess. /sarc

    1. Whoops thread fail.

    2. My aunts and uncles taught me and my cousins how to make bloddy Mary’s when we were 7, so they could be made and Franken faster at family get togethers

  20. Apparently this guy is big on having others learn by doing but hasn’t figured out how to use Twitter. Maybe he should check YouTube.

  21. And then came the digging up of his prior tweets, some of which were shockingly and indisputably racist and anti-Semitic.

    considering the things i have been told are “shockingly and indisputably racist”,… ill need to verify these myself before I believ ethis.

    1. They weren’t. Sarcasm this Libertarian Karen did not get, mind you…

  22. To paraphrase the wise Simon Phoenix, “america has become a brady bunch pussy whipped version of its former self”

  23. And all the critizims are coming from perfect parents of course.

    Just remember when you point your finger at someone, you have 3 other fingers pointing back at you…

    1. Knife hands.

  24. “Modern teaching” techniques are all about letting the child explore the world on his own, and deprecate the old pedagogical techniques of “explain and demonstrate”. BeanDad was just trying to teach his daughter, according to the modern and highly accepted methods of self-descovery.

    However, as shown here (and in EVERY other example where the “modern” technique has been used), this is a BAD WAY to teach anything. The “old ways”, unenlightened and unwoke, involve a three-step process.

    First, you tell them what you’re GOING to tell them.

    Second, TELL them. (Practical demonstrations are often helpful and appropriate.)

    Third, tell them again what you’ve just told them.

    So BeanDad is obviously a very progressive and Woke individual. Just like all the other incompetent bozos who currently infest the once-noble teaching profession.

    1. In the case of a can opener, the old way probably does the job. But I think there is a lot to be said for discovery style learning. Once you know the basics, that’s pretty much how everyone learns everything. Figure it out. Of course it’s a waste of time to figure everything out. But you do have to learn how to figure things out.

      1. The helicopter parents where I live are of the opinion that their kids must excel at something from the youngest age possible, so they can put it on their college transcript, so self-directed learning is highly discouraged. Probably think this dad ruined his kid’s chance for Harvard because now it is on the record that she is not a natural born can opener. That still leaves kazoo and croquet for things she can excel at.

      2. Just from what I’ve read, if the only thing he’d done was show her how to hold the thing, she’d have gotten through this in twenty minutes. He made her labor over it for six hours and told her nobody would eat until she got it sorted.

        Self exploration is good. Letting them figure things out is good. But there’s no problem with a tiny bit of input to get people pointed in the right direction.

      3. LOL. Six hours, dude. Six. Fucking. Hours. That’s not a “teaching moment”, it’s a waste of time. After 10 minutes of NOT figuring it out he should’ve just showed her and got it over with. THEN, he could’ve showed her a bunch of OTHER shit, and taught her multiple things in a few hours time. That is, if he wasn’t such a dumbfuck. And, now, his daughter probably thinks he’s a total asshole. Well done, dad!

        I don’t think he should’ve deleted his account, no, but he *chose* to do so. He’s like that YA author that self-canceled her own book because some leftie spazzes didn’t like it, except she didn’t make her kid cry or anything. Did it to himself, just like her, so fuck ’em both.

        1. Shorter version: if you choose to share fun family moments online and enough people are assholes like Drake attack you, it’s your fault for daring to post anything the retarded snowflake brigade disagrees with.

    2. In sales and indecent exposure, the phrase is “Open, expose, close.”

    3. Surgeons had a maxim. Don’t know if it still applies.

      “See one, do one, teach one”

      1. It still applies….and in other fields as well.

  25. Twitter is bad and everyone should stay away from it for their own safety and the safety of their family. Don’t become another victim.

    1. So very much this. No one besides dad and daughter should give a shit about this incident.

  26. When I heard about this my first instinct was to think that Bean Dad is an overwrought shmuck both for doing it and for writing about it like he was teaching her how to start a fire with two sticks. It never even occurred to me to attack him online, cancel him, read his past tweets, call child services or any other of the thousand insane overreactions that happen. Also to all future Bean Dads (you know who you are) STOP TWEETING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!

  27. Were they Goya beans? ????

  28. A few years ago we got Minecraft for desktop PC. I didn’t know how to play it at all. The kids started playing and “mined straight down” for the first hour at least. There were tears, there were internet searches, but here was a skill I did not have that they wanted to learn. I encouraged them not to give up, they didn’t give up, and eventually they got the hang of it and have enjoyed the game ever since. It was a perfect example of persistence paying off.
    Many things in life are like that; getting over the bump takes hours of trying different approaches, sometimes days. Getting accustomed to the discomfort of that takes practice. We are not always around people who know how to do what we need to learn. The dad did good there.
    Prior tweets? Cancelation? I wonder if Seattle will fire him.

  29. Really, a can opener? They’re not complicated. I figured it out in about 2 minutes, when I was 8 years old.

    And my grandfather taught my uncle to swim by throwing him in the river.

    1. I did that with a Newfoundland dog. He resented me for the rest of his life.

    2. Like me, you probably saw can openers in use several times a week, starting when you were a toddler. You might have had a few details to work out the first time you did it yourself, but you knew it didn’t go crossways to the can.

      So what was going on here? Had it been years since this family ate canned food? Had the girl always been excluded from the kitchen?

  30. First, thanks to Lenore Skenazy for a sober and intelligent analysis of this incident. I have to add a request to Reason to add an option to LIKE articles and comments; some of the comments here are likewise worthy of endorsement. (I’m not quoting those because — too lazy.)

  31. What kind of can opener?

    Some of them are black magic fuckery.

    Did she really spend 6 hours on the task, or did she wander off to do other things and it only took 6 hours because she wasn’t *that* interested?

    What does the Department of Education say is the optimum amount of time that a child should be allowed to struggle with a problem if she is making progress and testing clever solutions?

    But most importantly, if you won’t want your life analyzed by a million hostile strangers, don’t put it on twitter.

  32. This is social media and why I said fuck social media 5+ years ago for anything and everything even remotely related to my personal life.

  33. Oh, but it’s not REALLY a libertarian issue because it’s not the GOVERNMENT coercing him into parenting and speaking in specific ways.

    1. Harassment is a violation of NAP.

  34. In truth, it does interest me that Bean Dad had posted disgusting tweets. It also made it much easier for me to categorize him. While some part of me had considered that maybe there was something plausibly positive in his parenting decision that day—his belief that his daughter would figure out a truly confusing problem, and savor her perseverance and lightbulb moment—once I read Bean Dad’s past tweets I could very easily damn everything he did and said as cruel and reprehensible. It allowed me to label him, once and for all, as a jerk.

    Did it ever occur to your that there are some things that are just none of your fucking business? Because, let me tell you, this is something that is none of your fucking business.

    1. He put that shit on Twitter, cletus. It becomes public knowledge at that point.

      I don’t think he should be cancelled. People should be judged on their actions, not their words. If I was judged on the contents on my mind, I’d be strung up from the nearest lightpost.

  35. “If you check out this thread that’s been burning up Twitter”

    …then you’re a journalist.

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  37. “First, when someone says or writes something you disagree with on Twitter, in a newspaper, or anywhere else, is this license to dredge up anything they’ve ever said publicly?”

    Geez; Where have you been? That’s what lefty woke member have been doing for probably a Decade now! I swear they’re paid employees of some sort of domestic psyops program. The effort and time they spend digging and trashing seems unreasonably far beyond anything a person would do without pay.

  38. Letting a child figure it out for themselves is real growth, not someone telling them out of a textbook how to do it. There is no substitute.

  39. For a second I thought the dad was Mexican.

  40. Pretty soon the haters grew so vocal—some calling his actions child abuse—that Bean Dad took down his whole thread (preserved here). Then came the memes, of course. And then came the digging up of his prior tweets, some of which were shockingly and indisputably racist and anti-Semitic.

    Why doesn’t Lenore Skenazy just hold up Detective Sipowitz of N.Y.P.D. Blue or Huck Finn’s “Pap, his-own-self” as exemplars of proper parenting? Does she have a child audience and is she trying to encourage them to go “free range” all by themselves?

    And since when are we not supposed to think about and judge someone’s publicly presented words? What is she, Postmodern?

  41. How old was that can of beans that it did not have a pull top?

    Or is the daughter a blonde? 🙂

  42. Only a fiend would teach a child how to open and eat baked beans without equiping it with a catalytic methane converter.

    Has he no sense of carbon footprint decency ?

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2021/01/can-cowvid-masks-stop-coronavirus-and.html

  43. THERE SHOULD BE A PHONE APP TO OPEN CANS!

    Do I have to think of everything?

  44. I went to high school with John Roderick. His tweets tell me that he is the same person as he was then.

    Over 35 years ago….

  45. Everything is contextual when it comes to family interactions. I once heard my daughter tell her friends that I was SO STRICT I had grounded her from using a car we shared for a week because she left a bit of paper in the cup holder. While technically true, she left out the weeks of her escalating refusal to comply with my request to clean up after herself.

    We don’t know what the dynamic is between this daughter and father. Perhaps she’s always interrupting him to demand he perform mundane household chores she should be perfectly able to handle herself, and he’s showing her that she is fully capable of figuring things out for herself. Or maybe he IS a heartless asshole. The point is we don’t know.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. All the more reason that he’s an idiot for feeling the need to tell the whole world about this with little context.

  46. The people who are berating this guy for forcing his daughter to figure out how to use a can opener either don’t have kids or are raising the next generation of snowflakes. My dad told me I had to put a new transmission in our old truck if I wanted to drive it to a basketball game. I’d never changed a transmission before but I figured it out. He didn’t do it for me or even help but he did check to see how it was going. I wasn’t angry with him, just motivated. And I learned. Scary concept. Doing everything for your kids does not help them in the long run.

  47. If I ran Twitter I’d ban everybody who piled onto a hate thread. And then I’d be fired by the board for depressing engagement metrics.

  48. Not my kid, not my business… at least not until we get to actual child abuse. And in my childhood, we would have found a way to open a can of beans, even if we didn’t have a can opener. Especially if a parent had told us, “Whatever you do, don’t open that can!”

    Like H&R, Twitter is about 99.9% useless bullshit. The one advantage of this forum, unless you are dumb enough to post in your own name, the pitchforks-and-torches mob isn’t going to use anything you’ve ever said online to ruin you. Hopefully, the real lesson the kid learned is to stay the hell off Twitter.

  49. I feel great sympathy for Bean Dad in that he managed to persist despite having a 9-year-old daughter too dumb to figure out how to work a can opener over six hours.

  50. There have been further developments. The girl DID have food during the six hours she struggled with the can opener. And the dad himself may have been responsible for some of the criticism of him, if I am reading it right. https://www.thewrap.com/bean-dad-9-year-old-open-can-6-hours-infuriates-twitter/

  51. She’s a girl! Woke people know that it is sexist for the world to place demands like figuring out how something mechanical works on girls! Woke people expect biologically male white knights to come to the rescue of every biologically female or transgender damsel in distress! When a man treats a girl like he would a boy, that’s clearly toxic masculinity! Also, when a man doesn’t treat a girl like he would a boy, that’s also clearly toxic masculinity!

    1. Words are violence, silence is violence.

  52. “First, when someone says or writes something you disagree with on Twitter, in a newspaper, or anywhere else, is this license to dredge up anything they’ve ever said publicly?”

    Trick question?

    And thanks for adding “fuckbag” and “shitgoblin” to my personal lexicon.

  53. What a sick world when this sort of thing occupies so much attention.
    Get a life. Please.
    Maybe give up some time you spend in places where you can comment at strangers!

  54. I don’t get.
    The kid asked how to use a can opener.
    Why not just show her how to use it?
    Ok he. She will know how for the next time

  55. Kid’s 9 years old and never watched mom or pop open a can? Dad needs to take her phone away.

  56. The difference in this case is the guy posted the whole story on Twitter, in 23 (!) tweets.

    If you don’t want your parenting criticized, don’t send out every gory detail on the internet.

  57. Her mother would be praised for doing the same.

  58. As far as I can tell, the only thing that Bean Dad did that wasn’t perfectly okay, even admirable, might be the play-by-play tweeting about it.

    Kids learn by doing, they learn by figuring things out. They also need to learn patience, self sufficiency, and self-confidence. This exercise seems likely to have been consistent with all of these life goals.

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