He teaches skills you’d normally “ask your dad” about for people who live alone or don’t have dads of their own
If you’ve spent your time in quarantine wondering, “What’s the purest thing on the internet right now?” well, look no further. Rob Kenney’s massively popular YouTube channel, “Dad, How Do I?” has found its way into everyone’s hearts after recently going viral thanks to Reddit and Twitter. And, of course, to Kenney himself — who has one heck of a heart-wrenching backstory with his own dad.
When he was just 14, Kenney’s dad abandoned him and his siblings, according to a recent interview he did with Shattered magazine. After his dad left, Kenney moved in with one of his older brothers. He’s since gotten married and raised two children of his own, both of whom are adults. His daughter, Kristine, 27, earned a handful of degrees and certifications toward helping her work with kids. His son, Kyle, works as a software engineer.
He channeled those empty nest feelings into creating “Dad, How Do I?” on YouTube about a month ago, where he shares “practical ‘Dadvice’ for everyday tasks.”
Kenney told Shattered he wanted to leave a legacy, particularly for those who struggle with a broken family or absent parent. So far, the videos cover topics like checking the oil, checking your tire pressure, how to fix a running toilet, how to tie a tie, and how to iron a dress shirt.
“I want it to be about everyday tasks, but I also would like to pass along some of the wisdom I’ve learned along the way to encourage people,” Rob said. “I thought I was just going to be showing people how to do stuff, but it’s kind of resonating on a whole different level.”
After the interview published, “Dad, How Do I?” began gaining traction on Twitter and Reddit, with many people overcome with the sweet purity of Kenney’s channel (which now has 855,000 subscribers).
Found a YouTube channel of this guy who's Dad walked out on him when he was 12.
Now a dad to two (adult) kids himself, he's made a YouTube Channel called "Dad, How Do I?" – where he makes maintenance videos for people with no Dads.
— Bruce Wayne | The Wizard (@FaisalTreShah) May 17, 2020
The entire internet it seems is extremely here for everything about this YouTube channel, because something as genuinely good as this is a very necessary and welcome distraction from the never-ending peril that is our collective reality.
NGL seeing this brought me to tears. My dad walked out on me when I was 11 and barely taught me anything. This is so damn sweet it's overwhelming I want to give this man a hug.— DrakeBigShep (@drakebigshep) May 19, 2020
Oh, this makes me emotional. My dad walked out when I was 19 but he was gone emotionally LONG before that. These are the things my mum taught me instead because it was important.— Jocelyn Galey @ Black Widow 2020 (@missgaley) May 19, 2020
I don't miss my dad, but I miss the dad I could have had... the dad who did this stuff with me.
Omg I’m already an adult and I had a dad growing up but he passed away when I was 14 before I needed to know most of these things and now I feel like I don’t have anyone to teach me how to do stuff for myself in my apartment and car. I’m seriously about to subscribe!!🙂❤️— Chloe (@chlo_glow_) May 20, 2020
After the outpouring of support made its way to Kenney’s various inboxes, he shared a video to his account thanking everyone for their kind words.
“I’m a bit of an emotional wreck,” he admits.”The pain is pretty real in our world, and hopefully, this will help alleviate some of it.”