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Who is ‘Bean Dad’? Twitter users slam John Roderick for can opener stunt with his hungry daughter

A musician and podcaster has sparked fury and upset after boasting that he let his nine-year-old daughter go hungry for six hours because he refused to help her use a can opener for the first time in what he proudly described as a ‘teaching moment’. 

On January 2, Roderick, 52, shared a lengthy Twitter thread in which he explained that his daughter was hungry and asked for help making a can of beans — because she didn’t know how to use a can opener, having never been taught.

Instead of helping her or walking her through it, though, Roderick, who is originally from Seattle, told his daughter to figure it out herself, brushing off her groans and tears as she went six hours without food, unable to work out how to use a tool she’d never used before.

Her own devices: Social media users have been left horrified by musician and podcaster John Roderick’s boasts story about refusing to teach his daughter how to use a can opener

Roderick’s 23-tweet thread details how he insisted his nine-year-old daughter work out the can opener’s mechanisms without guidance, telling her she wouldn’t eat until she’d solved it. 

Publicly shamed: Roderick earned the nickname 'Bean Dad' after revealing that he let his nine-year-old go hungry for six hours while she tried to use a can opener for the first time

Publicly shamed: Roderick earned the nickname ‘Bean Dad’ after revealing that he let his nine-year-old go hungry for six hours while she tried to use a can opener for the first time

‘So, yesterday my daughter (9) was hungry and I was doing a jigsaw puzzle so I said over my shoulder “make some baked beans,”’ he began his thread. 

‘She said, “How?” like all kids do when they want YOU to do it, so I said, “Open a can and put it in pot.” She brought me the can and said “Open it how?”

‘”With a can opener!” I said, incredulous. She brought me the can opener and we both stated at it. I realized I’d never taught her to use it. Most cans now have pull tops. I felt like a dope.’

But instead of spending 10 seconds teaching her how to use it, he made her figure it out herself, though she had never used one before. 

‘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! 

He said his daughter was hungry and asked for help making baked beans. She'd never needed to use a can opener before and didn't know how, but Roderick wouldn't teach her

He said his daughter was hungry and asked for help making baked beans. She’d never needed to use a can opener before and didn’t know how, but Roderick wouldn’t teach her

Real nice, dude... His nine-year-old grew frustrated and angry while Roderick worked on his jigsaw puzzle

Real nice, dude… His nine-year-old grew frustrated and angry while Roderick worked on his jigsaw puzzle

‘I said, “this 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 the problem.”

After this speech, Roderick returned to his jigsaw puzzle, ignoring his daughter’s ‘grunting and groaning’ as she tried to open the can.

He admitted that ‘spatial orientation, process visualization, and order of operation’ are not her strong suits, but still didn’t seem bothered to help her.

‘Eventually she collapsed in a frustrated heap,’ he said. ‘I said, “Explain the parts.”‘

His daughter pointed out the wheel and gears and deduced what they did.

‘I said, “The tool is made to be pleasing but it doesn’t have any superfluous qualities. Everything that moves does so for a reason.”

‘She said, “I hate you.” I’m sure she believes that she does. I said, “You understand everything except how the tool addresses the can.” She signed. 

Starved! The little girl spent six hours trying to figure it out, and was left in tears because she was hungry and her brain was 'fuzzy'

Starved! The little girl spent six hours trying to figure it out, and was left in tears because she was hungry and her brain was ‘fuzzy’

‘At this point she said, “I don’t want baked beans” and marched off. Apocalypse Dad went into full “The Road” Mode! 

‘“Sweetheart,”‘ he said, ‘”neither of us will eat another bite today until we get into this can of beans.” She screamed “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. She read a book for awhile. 

Eventually she got back to try opening the can. Still, Roderick offered her no more guidance, but helped her work on ‘anger management and perseverance.’

‘She suggested she open the can with a hammer. There were tears,’ he said. 

Roderick said she’d been working on it on and off for six hours before finally puncturing the can.

‘I’d been tempted many times along the way to guide her hand,’ he wrote. ‘I wanted her to experience the magnificence of the can opener SO MUCH I couldn’t stand the suspense. Neither of us likes baked beans that much — the cupboards are bare — so it seemed like a paltry reward for this work.

Boastful: Roderick proudly shared the story on Twitter, assuming he'd be applauded for his parenting

Boastful: Roderick proudly shared the story on Twitter, assuming he’d be applauded for his parenting

‘Many times throughout the day she yelled at me, “My brain is fuzzy! I can’t think of anything else to try!!!” and I’d say, “When your brain doesn’t work, trust your hands.”‘

Once she finally managed to open the can — after six hours of trying without help, having missed lunch because her dad wouldn’t let her eat — Roderick insists that his daughter was ‘proud.’

‘I’m proud of her too,’ he said. ‘I know I’m infuriating. I know this is parenting theater in some ways. I suffer from lack of preservation myself, and like all parents throughout history I’m trying to correct my own mistakes in the way I educate my child. 

‘The Swing-a-Way can opener is a little voodoo doll for us now. It will reappear as an allegory many more times in her life, you can be sure. She knows this too. But this is an allegory of triumph. I wish I had more of t hose for myself. I wish I had more stories like this.’

Roderick’s thread quickly went viral, becoming one of the most buzzed-about topics on the app on Sunday.

Trending: Roderick's thread quickly went viral, becoming one of the most buzzed-about topics on the app on Sunday — but most commenters were critisizing him

Trending: Roderick’s thread quickly went viral, becoming one of the most buzzed-about topics on the app on Sunday — but most commenters were critisizing him

But while he shared the story boastfully, believing it a triumph that reflected well on his parenting, many Twitter users were absolutely horrified and have insisted that his daughter will grow up to hate him.

‘Kiddo was already hungry when she approached dad and then was made to work on figuring out the can opener for six hours AFTER THAT,’ wrote one critic. ‘Meaning she most likely had breakfast, got a can of beans for dinner, and that was her food for the entire day.’

Another tweeted: ‘I’m mad for that kid. She’s not going to remember it as a fun daddy/daughter learning experience. She’s going to remember being hungry, mad, and frustrated.’ 

‘So Bean Dad has been on my mind all day and I think the answer to his awfulness is right there in the 1st tweet. His daughter asked him an honest question (How?) and his automatic response is to assume a 9 year old is manipulating him,’ wrote a third.

‘Bean Dad, like many bad parents, has taught his daughter essential lessons: your needs are less important than mine, I will not help you when you ask me for help, I will praise myself for denying you help, my ego is always more important than you, I cannot be trusted,’ wrote one young man.

Criticism: Thousands of people have slammed is parenting with many going so far as to call it abusive

Criticism: Thousands of people have slammed is parenting with many going so far as to call it abusive

‘That it was a can of beans when she was hungry sucks, but how would he have reacted if she asked for help with something more important? A bully, threats at school, a health problem, an allergy, an insecurity, a crush, a breakup?’ he went on.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ he said. With this, he’s taught her what will happen — that in the name of self-sufficiency he will keep shoving her away even as she asks him for the wisdom he supposedly has, but does not want to offer. Maybe she’ll ask someone else. Maybe she’ll just carry it.’

Several have gone so far as to accuse ‘Bean Dad’ of child abuse.

‘Almost every single disabled and neurodivergent person can tell you a story of child abuse they’ve experienced that is similar to the way bean dad abused his child. Make sure your advocacy against child abuse includes disabled and neurodivergent children,’ wrote one.

Another called it ‘a good dad thread for everyone currently reliving childhood trauma because of Bean Dad outing himself as a sadistic clinical narcissist by bragging about being cruel to his daughter as if it’s funny.’ 

Can't take the heat! By Sunday night, Roderick — who had temporarily changed his bio to include the nickname 'Bean Dad' and seemed proud of his notoriety — had deleted his account

Can’t take the heat! By Sunday night, Roderick — who had temporarily changed his bio to include the nickname ‘Bean Dad’ and seemed proud of his notoriety — had deleted his account

‘Your reaction to the bean dad is a great litmus test for whether you’ll be confused or not when you kid stops talking to you someday,’ wrote another, echoing tweets from several others who are sure his daughter will go no-contact with him when she gets older.

The thread was only up for about 24 hours before the backlash dominated Twitter, with some users scouring his old tweets and finding several racist, homophobic, and antisemitic jokes.

By Sunday night, Roderick — who had temporarily changed his bio to include the nickname ‘Bean Dad’ and seemed proud of his notoriety — had deleted his account.

Meanwhile, his ‘Omnibus’ podcast cohost Ken Jennings has come to his defense.

‘If this reassures anyone, I personally know John to be (a) a loving and attentive dad who (b) tells heightened-for-effect stories about his own irascibility on like ten podcasts a week. This site is so dumb,’ the Jeopardy! champ tweeted. 


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