Rob Kenney grew up without the guidance of his father. He didn't want other kids feeling the same way, so he created his YouTube channel, "Dad, how do I?"
I was raised by a single mom. While she taught me everything I know about life, sometimes, I wish I had a father figure in my life to teach me all the basic "dad tasks" I still don't know how to do by myself. From changing a tire to unclogging a bathtub drain, I'm pretty clueless and need someone to come to my rescue. Now, I know that the solution isn't to be raised by a dad but rather to ensure that everyone - gender no bar - learns these skills. In order to fill that gap, Rob Kenney started his YouTube channel, "Dad, how do I?"
Kenney's father abandoned his eight children when things in the family started getting a little bit dysfunctional. At the time, Kenney was only 14 years old. Eventually, his dad filed for a divorce from his mom, and even though he got full custody of the kids, he wanted little to do with them. For weeks at a time, Kenney would live on his own with his siblings. For some time, he lived with his mother. Sadly, the pressure of raising a large family while thousands of miles away from her home drove her to alcoholism. Despite all the challenges that he faced while growing up, he has been able to come out even stronger.
Since then, he has raised two children - who are both adults now - and lives with his wife of 29 years. To him, this is his greatest success. "My goal in my life was to raise good adults," he said in an interview. "I never wanted to be wealthy. I never wanted to be necessarily successful. My goal in life was to raise good adults — not good children but good adults — because I had a fractured childhood." He isn't stopping with just his children, though. After thinking about it for a little bit, he realized that he had immense knowledge and wisdom to share with those who wanted or needed it. He always wanted to make videos about how to complete simple tasks, like ironing a dress shirt, in order to help other children who had never been shown how to by their parents.
The ongoing lockdown gave him a reason to finally get to making those videos. Kenney shared, "I had lots of excuses, but while we’re in quarantine, I ran out of excuses. I want [the videos] 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. 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." So far, he's uploaded videos about how to fix a running toilet, unclog a sink, hang a shelf, and use a stud finder. He even has a video on how to be good to yourself. His practical "dadvice" (as he calls it) has gone viral ever since he uploaded his first video about a month ago. Kenney hopes his videos will help kids who grew up in broken families or those raised by absent parents.