The traditional idea of a happy family may involve a mom and dad, their children, and perhaps loving grandparents as well. But families can take many different forms—two mothers, two fathers, or single parents doing the best they can. Single moms or dads who have to raise their kids on their own may find things particularly difficult.
For single moms raising little boys, there will come a time when their sons will want to ask questions to their fathers. As they grow up, they will start trying to learn new things like tying their first necktie or shaving their baby beard.
This is exactly what Rob wanted to teach young boys who don’t have a father figure to guide them about basic things. He was inspired to create a YouTube channel called Dad, How Do I? after living most of his life without his father’s guidance. Rob’s dad had left him when he was young, and he was forced to live with his older brother, who had just gotten married then.
A rough past
Rob’s parents had 8 children. Things started to get tough when his father insisted that they move, while his mother wanted them to stay in Kansas, her hometown. This took a significant toll on their relationship, and eventually, Rob’s mother took to drinking.
“By the time I got to be 10, 11, 12, you could tell there was some dysfunction going on,” Rob said in an interview with Shattered Magazine.
“We used to have even boxes in our downstairs because my mom never really unpacked. I think my mom wanted to get back to Kansas. I think that took a toll on her.”
The marriage ended in a bitter divorce after his mom’s continuous struggle with alcohol abuse. Eventually, a restraining order was placed, and Rob’s dad got custody of all of their children. But he didn’t seem too keen on playing the role of a single dad. He was often away and would only come home to bring groceries for them. It appeared that he was emotionally unavailable for his kids and exhausted at the very thought of being a parent.
Time passed, and the cold treatment got worse until Rob’s father eventually admitted that he didn’t want them around anymore. He even gave an ultimatum—he would send them all to foster homes unless an older sibling stepped up to be in charge. And that is how Rob ended up being taken care of by his older brother.
It was devastating for Rob and his siblings. We can only imagine the trauma that this turn of events must have caused them. There’s probably nothing worse than bearing the thought that your father would instead abandon you than try to work on being a good parent to you.
Finding a way forward…
As a way of coping, Rob devoted himself to religion. And after years of carrying all that emotional baggage, he finally managed to forgive his father. Shortly after they reconciled, Rob’s father passed away. Reflecting on his experiences, Rob dedicated his adult life to working on himself and honing his family and parenting views. He promised himself that he would go on to become the father he never had.
After some years, Rob started a family of his own with two beautiful kids named Kristine and Kyle. He formed a good relationship with his children. After realizing how essential a parent’s role is in a child’s development, he started a YouTube channel to be that parent who can provide support and guidance to those who need it.
Dad, How Do I? was launched on the 1st of April last year. “How to tie a tie,” Rob’s first video, now has over a million views. The channel has acquired an enormous fan base on the internet. Many young adults and even teenagers have shown respect and admiration for Rob’s videos. They shared their own experiences growing up without a father—some had lost their dads, and some had also been abandoned like Rob when they were still young.
One of the viewer’s comments pretty much sums up how the internet feels about Rob. He said, “This dude just adopted everybody on the internet that doesn’t have a dad.”
We might as well give him the title, “Internet Dad.”
To date, Rob has posted over 50 videos of helpful instructions that can answer many questions that people are unable to ask their fathers. He covers practical topics ranging from changing your car tires to fixing your leaky faucets. Aside from the how-to videos, he also uploads story-telling segments and dad joke compilations that can instantly brighten your day.
Aside from his YouTube channel, he has also launched a Facebook page bearing the same funny description, “‘How To’ videos by a dad who has raised 2 adults (and we still talk).” It continues with, “I will do my best to provide useful, practical content to many basic tasks that everyone should know how to do.”
Rob’s videos are a blessing for young people who want to learn these essential life skills. Visual learning can be beneficial, especially in practical demonstrations like Rob’s kind in his videos. Aside from giving simple and clear instructions, he speaks hotly, exactly like how a loving dad would. Even adults can benefit a lot from their video tutorials.
The Internet Dad has proved that we can always turn things around.
Rob has proved that, however unfortunate the circumstances, we have the power to make something meaningful from them. He reminds us that we shouldn’t let our past determine our choices in the future. We are better than those who wronged us. For Rob, the absence of a father’s love became his inspiration to be the most loving and supporting dad.
It can take many years or even a lifetime to get past a traumatic experience. Different people process their grief and sadness differently. However small it may be, we can all find a way to move forward by starting a project. It can also be a chance to help someone with similar struggles.
People who’ve had rough childhoods don’t need to live in the shadow of their past forever. Rob could have been angry with his parents, but he didn’t hold a grudge against them. He could make amends with his father before the latter died, but he never had the chance to reconcile with his mother. She died in her late 50s, according to Shattered Magazine.
“My goal in my life was to raise good adults,” Rob 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 has successfully lived up to his goal.
With his YouTube channel, Rob has been able to extend his practical lessons and wisdom to other kids online. If they suddenly find themselves in a household emergency, they can always turn to Rob’s videos for help. He offers only the best and most essential “Dadvice” that we can use every day.
Rob’s YouTube channel currently has almost 3 million subscribers in just a span of eight months. The “internet dad” community is amiable, and you won’t see any hate comments on his uploads. This is probably because of how pure Rob’s intentions are in creating this channel. He has gained popularity because of his wholesome content, and of course, his dad joke intros. We hope this internet dad’s channel will continue to grow in views and followers in the years to come.