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A Man Who Grew Up Without a Father Now Gives Dad Advice to Kids Who Need It

Rob Kenney, a Chicago dad of 2 who grew up without a father, now has nearly 4.3 million YouTube subscribers to his channel, Dad, How Do I? On his channel, Kenney gives kids practical advice on how to shave, make biscuits, and iron a shirt. He even reads stories to kids. But what makes the entire channel, the man behind it, and the reason it suddenly went viral so unique is the backstory and the admirable goal of the videos. “I’m happy to share what I know, since a lot of it, I learned the hard way,” Kenney says.

His dad walked out on his family when he was a teenager.

Rob Kenney’s father abandoned his 8 children when he had barely entered his teenage years. Kenney eventually moved in with his 23-year-old brother and his wife to live in a small mobile home when he was 14 years old. Without a doubt, Kenney’s life wasn’t simple. In one of his interviews, he got candid about how he made a pledge to himself that he would not repeat his parents’ mistakes.

He decided to be the dad he never had.

That’s Kenney and his daughter in the picture above. When the man became a dad himself, he focused on raising good adults. In an interview, Kenney said, “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.”

And he did become a fatherly role model for many kids.

Kenney has been married for 31 years and has 2 children, Kristine and Kyle. It seems like, for Kenney, fatherhood never really ends, but since the most important part is finished and his children are adults now, he started making YouTube videos. He gathered a lot of knowledge and experience over the years of being a daddy, and he wanted to cover all the questions that a kid might ask his dad for help with.

With his channel, he definitely changed some people’s lives.

Not having a dad that could help him through his younger years, Kenney makes videos and explains things like a father would, step by step, with topics that range from how to cook rice to how to take charge of your money. His videos usually start with him saying, “Hey, kids!” and it’s so simple yet meaningful. On a video about tying a tie, comments read, “This guy is literally a dad for people without dads,” and “I’m a 20-year-old guy who never had anyone teach me how to tie a tie. But now I know! I love this guy.”

Under another video about ironing a dress shirt, one person commented, “My dad also walked out on me. And honestly, I saw all your videos and it made me tear up. This is really amazing and beautiful that you’re doing this!”

What’s the most cherished memory you have of your father?

Bright Side/People/A Man Who Grew Up Without a Father Now Gives Dad Advice to Kids Who Need It
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