As we slide ever closer to Father’s Day during these pandemic times, I can’t help but feel super privileged to tell you about one extraordinary dad. He’s a dad so good, that after he was done raising his own kids, he took to YouTube to do some more dadding to zillions of complete and total strangers in need. But let me back up before I get to ahead of myself.
Rob Kenney’s childhood had a theme that, sadly, is not at all uncommon for American kids: fatherlessness. His father left his family when he was just twelve years old, and statistics say that lines up with the experience of about 25% of kids today. Many lessons a dad would teach a kid, he just had to learn on his own. However, Kenney vowed that his own kids would not have that experience, and after successfully raising two kiddos into two adults, he’s branching out to help fatherless kids (young and old!) just like him in the coolest way possible.
Kenney has started a YouTube channel called “Dad, How Do I?” to quite simply, teach fatherless kids how to do stuff! And it’s KIND OF AMAZING!
In the past week, thanks to some viral posts on Twitter and Facebook by influencers, Kenney’s channel has gone from a handful of subscribers to 1.34 MILLION!! Say WHAAAT? It just goes to show you how much his “Practical ‘Dadvice’ for everyday tasks” is needed and appreciated by fatherless kids everywhere—not to mention adults who just plain don’t know how to do stuff.
From “how to tie a tie” to “how to shave your face,” to “how to check your car’s oil,” Kenney’s straightforward videos are perfect and much-needed. Thank God, I’ve never had to shave my face, but I remember my dad teaching me how to check the oil in my car and I can’t imagine if I hadn’t had him there to do that for me. Reading through the video titles and seeing them through a mom’s eyes…I got a lump in my throat. My three kids have a great dad, and I am so thankful. It hurts to think of them needing a resource like Kenney’s, but dangit I’m so glad it’s there!
The people of the Interwebz, it turns out, are also glad: the comments on Kenney’s YouTube channel can move even the hard-hearted to tears.
“My father died in early to mid 2009, I never had a relationship with him,” says one commenter. “I was raised solely by my mother. This channel hits home in an entirely different way.. it’s a miracle.”
“I have a dad but he’s extremely verbally abusive and I get so scared to ask for help,” says another. “Thank you for all of these videos. You’re helping so many people.”
“Yo not ashamed to say this video made me tear up a little bit… I have a pretty s****y relationship with my dad and I could never ask him to teach me s**t this made me super emotional, thank you man,” said yet another commenter.
Are you crying yet? I double dog dare you to read through the comments. It is so heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
From the bottom of my mom heart, thank you Rob Kenney, for stepping up and stepping in to the lives of those who needed you in a huge way. I sincerely hope you have the best Father’s Day EVER in a couple of weeks, and keep up the good work!