On YouTube, This Dad Offers Encouragement and Practical Tutorials for Household Tasks

published May 24, 2020
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If we’re lucky, we have someone — a parent or guardian — to lovingly guide us through the basic skills we’ll need to survive as adults: how to take care of a car, how to unclog a drain, how to fix a toilet. Rob Kenney didn’t always have that as he was growing up, but he wants to make sure others do. After raising two kids of his own, he’s now sharing his parental guidance widely through his YouTube channel, called “Dad, how do I?”

In an April 2020 interview with Shattered Magazine, Kenney explained that his dad left when he was only fourteen years old. “He got custody of us, but he didn’t really want us,” he said. “I think he was kind of done by that time.” When his dad left, Kenney moved in with his newlywed 23-year-old brother, who lived in an 8-by-35-foot mobile home.

Since then, Kenney went on to get married and have two kids, who are now adults. “My goal in my life was to raise good adults,” Kenney told Shattered. “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.”

When quarantine began this spring, he started a YouTube channel, where he posts videos explaining how to do things you might learn from your dad. He began with how to tie a tie, and has since covered tasks like changing your car’s oil, ironing a dress shirt, and using a stud finder.

Among these tutorials, he also offers dad jokes and encouragement. The videos have resonated more than he expected, he said. The comment sections are full of people sharing their own stories about their fathers and offering Kenney their heartfelt thanks.

Rob Kenney posts a new video to “Dad, how do I?” each Thursday. On May 26, he also plans to start a series called “Tool Tuesday.” You can find all his videos here.