The line between helping your kids and empowering them to solve problems on their own is a fine one. Letting kids know that they can come to their parents for help while encouraging them in situations where they have to figure out things for themselves is a priority for many. Nobody wants to raise a person who isn't self-sufficient.
John Roderick's Twitter story about his daughter learning to use a can opener earned him the nickname "Bean Dad."
Podcaster John Roderick — who is also the lead singer and guitarist in the band The Long Winters — wrote about an instance that involved his 9-year-old daughter and a can opener. The kid approached him saying she was hungry and John instructed her to make some baked beans. When she asked "how" he told her to put them in a pot to get the cooking process started. His 9-year-old daughter didn't know how to do that.
Personally, I was a mama's boy growing up, with my mom being a made-to-order cook for my and my siblings. It wasn't exactly the healthiest way to go about building a relationship with food; we had most of our favorite foods at our beck and call and since my mom was constantly cooking, there was an abundance of stuff to munch on throughout the day.
So I was somewhat digging John's thought process in teaching his daughter how to open a can of beans herself to make a humble meal.
However, like most people when faced with a tedious task, John's daughter soon became exasperated at the prospect of discovering how to correctly use an unfamiliar mechanism all on her own.
But the dad wasn't backing down and he seemed dead set on his daughter learning how to use a can opener herself.
He then chronicled her entire journey of learning how to use the can opener and the peripatetic process of finally opening the can.
Hours and hours went by as he dedicated himself to solving the jigsaw puzzle, and she had extra impetus to learn how to use the can opener as he said she wouldn't eat any food if she couldn't figure out how to get the can opened with the tool.
But John seemed dedicated to teaching his daughter to "follow through" on something, in a way of correcting his own parenting "mistakes" growing up.
After sharing his entire thread on Twitter, tons of people chimed in to share their opinion of his tale. There were some people who loved that he toughed it out and made sure his daughter learned how to use the tool herself.
Other people argued that his acts were somewhat "abusive" and that he was setting his daughter up for failure in the future.
The argument was that he was teaching his daughter "food must be earned" and that he would ultimately push her away emotionally and he couldn't be trusted to help her when she needed it most. Also, that this kind of attitude toward foods might create disorders when it comes to eating.
But, again, there were tons of folks who also think teaching kids a lesson in "earning" their keep could be helpful. What do you think?