Monday, June 21, 2021

When People Using YouTube All Got an ‘Internet Dad’

The importance of good parenting is undoubtedly proven. Parents teach children to overcome adversities and protect them from atrocities. Yet proper parenting is limited to a few. Recently, tweets about a YouTube channel called “Dad, how do I?” got loads of attention from netizens.

This channel, intended to help kids growing up without fathers, was created by Rob Kenney. The 55-year-old from Seattle, Washington, is among those who didn’t have the privilege of proper parenting. Kenney was exposed to a hard childhood, as his father left when he was just 12, leaving him with an alcoholic mother. 

The YouTube channel promotes handyman skills that Kenney learned from his brother and by working on his own. The quality of parenting that children receive during childhood and adolescence plays a major role in their future. It includes competence in various areas varying from language and communication to self-regulation, relationships, and academic attainment. It also has a significant impact on mental and physical health. 

‘Dad, how do I?’

Kenney has two children, Kristine and Kyle. When his 27-year-old daughter kept asking him about how to run and maintain a house, he thought of creating a YouTube channel. Kenney said that he wanted to teach life lessons that are normally taught by the father of the household. He knows what it’s like not to have a dad, so he decided to post useful, practical content for assisting with many basic tasks that everyone should know how to handle (around the house).

Father and son doing silly poses.
Through his YouTube channel, Kenney is filling the role of father figure to many who can’t ask advice from their own dad. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

When he started doing that, his daughter promoted the channel through Facebook groups. People saw her posts and shared them to larger Facebook groups and Reddit threads, increasing his subscriber count to 10,000. A kindness group called the “Scrubbers” from a podcast called Scrubbing In, also helped in spreading the content to a larger audience.

There are many heartwarming and even devastating tweets about the need for proper parenting, and how Kenney’s channel helped people. His initiative inspired deeply emotional responses. All these led to a whopping subscription count of 2.96 million (as of Dec. 9)! That, too, in a short span of 8 months, and his audience is fast growing.

“I knew there was a need — it’s overwhelming,” Kenney said to BuzzFeed News after reading public responses and those sent to him privately. While creating this channel, he just had the intention to help young adults who don’t have the privilege of calling up their dad to ask him simple questions. Now, quite rightfully, he has been dubbed the “Internet’s Dad.”

Future plans

Usually, his videos address tasks around the house, but his recent content also includes topics that are intended to provide emotional support for more complicated life challenges. Topics vary from career guidance to dealing with heartbreaks. “There’s more to being a dad than just running around and fixing things,” Kenny said, according to Goalcast.

A sad-looking young woman.
Recent content also includes topics that are intended to provide emotional support for more complicated life challenges. (Image: via omid bonyadian via Unsplash)

Currently, “Dad, how do I?” has 54 videos, ranging from “How to tie a tie?” to “How to put up Christmas lights?” He releases a new how-to video every Thursday, and a tool-focused video every Tuesday.

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Raven Montmorency
Raven Montmorency is a pen name used for a writer based in India. She has been writing with her main focus on Lifestyle and human rights issues around the world.

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