Rob Kenney had a plan when he started his YouTube Dadvice channel: To pass his knowledge onto people who, like him, didn’t grow up with a father figure.
When Kenney was a young child, his father took custody of him and his siblings, as his mother struggled with alcoholism, he told TODAY Parents. But then when Kenney was 14, his father told them he didn’t want to have kids anymore.
His older brother took him in to finish raising him. Now Kenney, 55, has two grown children of his own — Kristine, 27, and Kyle, 25 — and a clear vision of what kind of father not to be.
“At a very young age, I determined I wasn’t going to do that — that I wanted to do it the right way,” he told TODAY.
Kenney has now gone viral because of his YouTube channel that features tutorials on how to do all kinds of things, from unclogging a bathtub and putting up a shelf to checking car oil and ironing a dress shirt. Some have even called him the “Mr. Rogers for adults.”
“It’s for anyone who feels like they need to learn something, or be empowered to learn something — that’s the aim of my channel,” he said.
Kenney said when viewers caught wind of his page and started sharing their experiences about growing up without a father figure, he was an “emotional wreck.”
“The responses and the comments — that was a little overwhelming for me,” he said.