‘Bean dad’ apologises after tin can posts cause outcry

A dad in the US who boasted about his parenting skills after telling his hungry nine-year-old daughter to open a tin of beans or go without food says he is “deeply sorry” about his tweets.

John Roderick, a podcaster and musician, said in a statement that he wanted to “acknowledge and make amends for the injuries” caused by his posts.

He said they were framed in a certain way to reflect his “comedic persona”.

Mr Roderick’s now-deleted tweets led to accusations of neglect on social media.

Twitter users, who nicknamed him “bean dad”, condemned the reported incident, suggesting it was poor parenting.

In an apology posted on his website on Tuesday, Mr Roderick said he had been “ignorant” and “insensitive” with the way he had described the incident. 

“What I didn’t understand when posting that story, was that a lot of the language I used reminded people very viscerally of abuse they’d experienced at the hand of a parent,” he said.

He said his posts had led to “a tremendous outpouring of anger and grief” and that nobody should have to face growing up with physical or emotional abuse.

Mr Roderick, who has since deactivated his Twitter account, said he was “deeply sorry for having precipitated more hurt in the world”, and that he was wrong for being “flippant when confronted” and for “taking my Twitter feed offline yesterday instead of facing the music”.

“My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly told,” he said, adding: “I didn’t share how much laughing we were doing, how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we worked on the problem, or that we’d both had a full breakfast together a few hours before.”

What was the Twitter story?

Mr Roderick shared a story on Saturday on Twitter, beginning with his daughter asking him to make baked beans.

After she brought him a tin-opener and can of beans, he asked her how she thought a tin-opener worked, he said.

When she said she didn’t know, he said he realised “a teaching moment just dropped into my lap”. 

“Apocalypse dad was overjoyed,” he added.

Explaining that he wanted his daughter to learn how to open a tin of beans, he said she tried for six hours.

“She was next to me grunting and groaning trying to get the thing. I should say that spatial orientation, process visualisation and order of operation are not things she… intuits. I knew this would be a challenge,” he said.

Eventually she opened the tin and ate the beans, he explained, claiming it was a victory for “good parenting”.

But some Twitter users accused Mr Roderick of “child abuse”, suggesting his actions were “ridiculous” and that it was right for his daughter to ask for “help and support”.

Others said Mr Roderick had “done nothing wrong” in his apparent attempt to teach “independence and personal growth”.

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