Child Shaming Doesn’t Help Children Learn – Bean Dad Is a Stark Reminder

On Twitter, a controversial story emerged when a father made his 9-year-old daughter spend six hours learning how to use a can opener before she was allowed to eat dinner. This incident sparked a broader conversation, bringing to light the fact that child shaming doesn’t help children learn. It raises the question of how we can better foster patience, perseverance, and problem-solving skills in our children.

John Roderick, the father of a 9-year-old girl and co-host of the podcast Omnibus, posted a lengthy Twitter thread on January 2, 2021, detailing his recent attempt to “teach” his daughter how to use a can opener by asking that she figure it out or go hungry. And the masses swiftly pointed out that this is not a healthy or effective parenting technique.

The Perplexing Effort by the Father to Teach His Daughter a New Skill

In the discussion that has since been deleted, the father revealed that his daughter approached him as he was working on a jigsaw puzzle. He instructed her to “cook some beans when she expressed hunger.” When she inquired about the procedure, he replied, “Open a can and place the contents in a pot.” The 9-year-old responded, “How do you open a can?” Roderick, who described himself as “incredulous,” responded, “With a can opener!”

While most cans have pull-tops, he immediately realized he had never taught her how to use a can opener. “I felt like a dope. What type of apocalypse parent does not teach his child how to open a can manually?” said Roderick.

Instead of fixing his error and demonstrating how to operate the device, he asked his daughter, “How do you suppose this works?” and pushed her to figure it out on her own. As he observed her plight, “The father conceded, “I might state that spatial orientation, process visualization, and operation order are not things she…intuits.” I anticipated this would be difficult. Nonetheless, it rained all weekend.”

So, he gave his 9-year-old six hours to figure it out. Roderick stated that she was proud when she eventually received it, and he was proud of her as well.

He stated the following in his conclusion: “I realize I’m irritating… I suffer from a lack of perseverance, and like many parents throughout history, I’m attempting to remedy my flaws in educating my child.”

Twitter’s Response

Twitter users immediately informed the father that his technique was not only unsuccessful but also potentially harmful. “I was reading this and thinking about my own father, who was very similar. As a child, he would always compel me to “find out” stuff I didn’t understand as a “teaching lesson.” “shared an individual with the handle @epictheory. “I stopped asking him for aid and never asked anyone… My father found it amusing to see me struggle. It was an abuse of authority.”

A user named Dr. Debra Elaine commented in response: “Unfortunately, a teaching opportunity requires a teacher. Right? He expressly states that he returned to his jigsaw puzzle. It does not sound like instruction to me.”

In addition, Lauren Thompson added, “As a teacher, this entire situation has given me the jitters. This is how one teaches a child to feel humiliated and fearful of seeking assistance. This does not teach independence; rather, it teaches that people cannot be relied upon to assist, which is completely different and extremely toxic.”

The Hollywood Reporter states that Roderick first responded with additional tweets. “My article about teaching my daughter how to overcome her irritation and figure out how to operate a can opener somehow made its way to a version of Twitter where I am being accused of child abuse. It is astounding. My daughter is OK, everybody,” he wrote.

“The most enjoyable aspect of being ratio’ed by these parenting concern-trolls is that they insist that denying my child baked beans for SIX HOURS constitutes child cruelty. The length of time between meals is six hours. Lunch at noon and dinner at six o’clock. Literally, they are stating CHILD ABUSE,” he proceeded.

Roderick removed his account when people unearthed and pointed out racist and antisemitic views in the father’s tweets.

The Key Takeaway For Parents

A registered marriage and family therapist in San Francisco, Stephanie Macadaan, notes that while it is admirable to want your child to feel self-reliant and proud of his or her accomplishments, this seems like “the usually blurred line between controlling and effective parenting.”

Francesca Feliciano, a certified clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and anxiety specialist in Wilton, Connecticut, explains that teaching children to be independent and self-confident must be done in combination with establishing an environment in which they feel safe, secure, and loved. “We do not want to generate unwarranted anxiety or, worse, the trauma that will leave them with challenges and scars that will last well beyond childhood,” she says.

Moreover, according to Feliciano, feeding a child is a fundamental necessity. She states, “We practice tough love with screen time, play dates, and other non-essentials.” “We do not do this with food or with situations involving food, clothing, or shelter. If the child struggles and feels inept, this can lead to situational anxiety, self-esteem/worthiness concerns, and even trauma if trust, security, and bonding are compromised.”

Instead, Feliciano explains that a parent should aid their child with patience as they attempt to operate the can opener, and then instruct them on how to prepare the beans, presuming that’s what they want to eat.

The final issue, according to Macadaan, is that a “teachable moment,” especially one involving a basic need, is only effective when a parent is warm, responsive, and supporting. Only then will it promote healthy relationship dynamics as opposed to the confrontational type that “Bean Dad” seems determined to create with his child and the entire Internet.

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