When we were kids, we used to think that adults had it all figured out. They’re older than us, so they’re supposed to know what to do all the time, right?
Several years down the road, the revelation that we had it all wrong hits us hard in the face. Now that we’re adults ourselves, we know how impossible it is to have all the wisdom in the world. Luckily, this “internet dad” is here to help us navigate this messy chapter in our lives that we call adulthood.
Rob Kenney, a 55-year-old father of two, recently launched his YouTube channel called “Dad, How Do I?” He created it to teach people basic life skills such as tying a tie, changing a tire, or using a stud finder – things that a father would normally train their children to do.
Rob released his first video on April 3, 2020, and in a matter of weeks, its following grew to 400,000, thanks to the massively viral Twitter, TikTok, Reddit posts mentioning his videos. Fast forward to today, the channel has amassed 2.65 million subscribers, which is an incredible feat considering he just started this whole thing five months ago!
The “Dad, How Do I?” channel skyrocketing to fame is no surprise, though. Rob’s videos are the definition of “wholesome internet content,” and I’m sure his legions of fans would agree.
Rob’s heartbreaking past was one of the things that motivated him to start this channel. He and his seven siblings grew up in a dysfunctional home. His mother had ‘personal struggles’ while his dad fell in love with another woman.
Their parents eventually divorced, with Rob’s father filing a restraining order against their mother. He gained custody of all eight children, but he wasn’t up to the task of raising them all.
“He got custody of us, but he didn’t really want us,” Rob said in an interview with Shattered Magazine. “I think he was kind of done by that time.”
Rob then moved in with his 23-year-old, newlywed brother, and they lived in an 8×35 ft mobile home. He’s since gotten married himself and raised two beautiful children with his wife. His daughter, Kristine, 27, has earned several degrees and certifications towards helping her work with kids. His son, Kyle, is a software engineer.
The doting dad admitted to having sort of an “empty nest” situation, and he was able to channel those feelings into his YouTube channel. His mission was simple: to provide “practical ‘dadvice’ for everyday tasks.”
He said he’s always wanted to make a series of videos teaching lessons not taught in school, but he never really found the time. That’s until everyone was required to quarantine in their homes because of the pandemic.
Rob told the magazine he wanted to leave a legacy to people with broken families or parents who aren’t present in their lives.
“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.”
Since launching his YouTube channel, Rob has been receiving an outpour of responses from his fans worldwide. Many thanked him for this initiative, while others who didn’t have a dad growing up shared their own stories of needing a father figure in their lives who would guide them.
To say that Rob’s life has completely changed is an understatement. Although he feels overwhelmed by it all, he’s happy to have been given a platform that would allow him to help as many people as possible.
Rob needed support managing his newfound fame, so he decided to hire a professional PR team to help him manage the tons of requests and outreach he receives.
“My wife and I are trying to figure it out as I go,” he said. “I don’t want to mislead anybody. I want to make sure that I handle things properly. I have a lot of people praying for me.”
While he didn’t start the channel for money, Rob recognizes that monetization could provide him with more opportunities to give back.
“I can help a lot more people if I make some money. And I can help give money away, especially if there’s a lot of hurt in the world,” he said.
Struggling adults everywhere now have more confidence to navigate this chapter in their lives, thanks to Rob Kenney’s practical lessons!
Here’s a sample video of Rob teaching people how to change motor oil in your car.