This Father’s Day, millions of people worldwide will have a new dad to salute and appreciate. The “Internet Dad” is a warm, loving father-figure whose YouTube channel “Dad How Do I?” exploded during the Coronavirus quarantine.
Rob Kenney creates unfussy, easy-to-understand how-to videos on practical adulting tasks like how to change the tire on a car, how to iron a dress shirt, how to shave, and how to use tools like a stud finder, pliers and a wrench. He’s a natural teacher, but what has captivated over two million subscribers in just a couple of months is his heart.
Every single video radiates kindness. You know, the fruit of the Spirit that seems to be in alarmingly short supply these days?
He starts his videos with a smiling, “Hi kids!” and always includes a dad joke. A perfect dad joke, even when he messes up. (“Did you hear the joke about the butter? . . . Oh, I just blew it. Did you hear the rumor about the butter? Well, I’m not gonna spread it . . .”) As a response to the overwhelming number of views and heartfelt comments, Rob started creating simple messages from the heart; his “Thank You” (for people’s enthusiastic response) video has had over 1.6 million views in just under a month. His description for a video titled “I Am Proud of You” reads, “The internet can’t understand what you all just did! Apparently it doesn’t have an algorithm for kindness. :0) I am proud of all of you!” He has read a children’s book with the intention to read one a month.
He’s being the dad every heart longs for.
Viewers’ comments on Rob’s videos are the most eloquent expression of the worldwide father hunger I’ve ever seen.
One repeated sentiment Rob himself has responded to, which really touched his heart, was the sweetly defensive “Protect this man at all costs!”
In the comments on the “I Am Proud of You” video, I was moved to tears by a long thread of “kids” from different countries responding to one poster’s heartbreaking comment: “The words any Asian child dreams of hearing their whole life.” Then “amens” from around the globe: China. India. Eastern Europe. Arabia. Indonesia. And, of course, the United States.
Such heart hunger! Such pain from absent, or distant, or abusive, fathers!
- My dad.. Actually tried to kill me when I was little… He never loved me . . . Will you be my new dad?. . . My Internet dad?
- I’ve always been scared that when I grow up and if I become a father I won’t be able to teach my children “dad” things because no one taught me. Thank you this might change that.
- As someone who’s dad left behind 6 girls and a wife, i have NEVER ever appreciated a mans help before. ❤this makes my heart hurt in a good way❤
- “You got this and I’m proud of you.” I have a dad and I’m still crying
- Everytime he says hi kids i just wanna say hi dad.
- “I Love you, I’m proud of you, God bless you.” All of the internet crying
(OK, I’m gonna stop pasting in comments now. I can’t see for the tears.)
What delights me the most about this “Mister Rogers for Adults” is that Rob is a Christ follower. He allows Father God to love His hurting (and not-so-hurting) children through him. The millions of people who watch his videos, and especially the over 100,000 commenters, are experiencing the affection and warmth of the God who loves them more than they can imagine, and this God is using technology to reach millions of people around the world with His love—packaged in a way they can receive.
And It. Is. Glorious!
In the midst of a very hard time for us as a society, it seems that God the Father has bestowed a Father’s Day gift on people they didn’t know they needed.
God bless you, Internet Dad. I’m proud of you, too. And Happy Father’s Day, brother.