By Tara Rippin • 21 May 2020 • 16:09
ROB KENNEY launched Dad How Do I? with the sole aim of helping other children become good adults after his own father walked out on him and his seven siblings when he was 14.
The how-to and tutorial channel gives practical dadvice on how to do a mountain of everyday things.
Rob wanted to leave a legacy, particularly for those who struggle with a broken family or absent parent, and video topics include shaving, checking the oil, checking your tyre pressure, ironing a shirt and unblocking a sink or drain.
But it’s the story behind the channel which has seen it go viral recently.
Rob from Washington, America, was left without a father just as he entered his teenage years, and his mother turned to alcohol to cope with the stress of raising eight kids far away from her own family.
At the age of 14, Rob was taken in by his 23-year-old brother and his wife who lived in a tiny mobile home, making things very tough.
He promised himself that he would not make the same mistakes his parents did, he told Shattered Magazine, and decided his “goal in life was to raise good adults.”
The father-of-two who has been married for 29 years, said during the 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.”
Robs own children have grown up and are living their own lives, so he decided to create videos on YouTube, with the motto: ‘Practical Dadvice for everyday tasks.’
He said he wanted to share the wisdom and know-how accumulated over the years, and turn them into life-lessons not taught in schools.
Word spread and his channel began making its way through the internet.
Facebook user Chris Hart shared his story of how he subscribed to Rob’s channel and got over 263,000 reactions and 515,000 shares within the first day of posting.
Two Twitter users did the same, collectively receiving more than 1.1 million likes and 325,000 retweets which were picked up in screenshot form on Imgur and Reddit, also getting a combined 260,000 upvotes.
At the beginning of the month, the channel was initially followed by 2,500 people, and now has more than 810,000 subscribers, a figure which continues to grow on a daily basis.
Rob has since filmed a heartfelt thank you video to all those who have supported him, and said he is still overwhelmed by the response.
He revealed he has received lots of emotional responses from other people who had difficult or no relationships at all with their fathers, saying his videos brought them to tears.
Rob’s humble story, and in particular his way of helping others, continues to gain respect, support and subscribers.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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