When Rob Kenney was 14, his father left their family. Kenney is now a dad of two successful adult children, but he’s always remembered the feeling of being a young adult with no father figure to help answer life’s basic questions. Several years ago, he had the idea to start a video series for young adults that would provide advice often given by a parent, such as how to check the air in your tires.
He sat on the idea for a while, but life got busy and he never got around to it. When quarantine started, he realized he had the perfect opportunity. Last month, with encouragement from his family, he started a YouTube channel titled Dad, How Do I?, which has quickly gained over 1.6 million subscribers. His first video, titled 'How to Tie a Tie,' was published April 2 and already has 392,000 views.
The channel’s tagline is “Practical ‘Dadvice’ for everyday tasks,” and that’s exactly what Kenney teaches. After the success of his first video walking viewers through how to tie a tie, Kenney posted 'How to Shave Your Face,' followed by 'How to Change a Tire.' Most of his videos are around five minutes long and cover everything from basic life lessons (how to iron a shirt) to car maintenance tips (how to change the oil). He’s also got household tools covered such as how to use a stud finder, and we anticipate more tool tutorials coming up in the future. Kenney even has a few long-form videos for more in-depth tasks: He spent 20 minutes walking viewers through how to hang a shelf, and you can learn how to change a tire the right way in his 13-minute video.
The videos on his channel have received more than 4 million total views, but YouTube isn't the only platform where he's gone viral. A Tweet praising Kenney's efforts went viral this week, and most of the six thousand replies are messages thanking Kenney for his advice and support.
While his videos are helpful for anyone who wants to learn something new, Kenney created the channel with the intent of helping teens without a parent figure around to help them learn these skills. Even after his own kids were grown and out of the house, he never stopped giving dad advice (and we're thankful he didn't!). After growing up without his own father to teach him these lessons, Kenney has quickly become a father figure to everyone who tunes in to his videos.