They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If there’s ever been a story of victory over breaking generational chains, and “making lemonade” from sour lemons, it’s Rob Kenney.
The father of two was just 12 years old when his father walked out on their family. One of eight kids, Rob found himself living with his older brother when he was 14. He was forced to navigate his teen years and adulthood without a loving father figure to show him the ropes.
Now that his kids are grown, Rob has turned to YouTube to share the fatherly wisdom and life skills he had to learn on his own.
On his channel, “Dad, How Do I?”, he shares practical “dadvice” for every day tasks. Things that everyday people might ask their own dad, like how to unclog a sink, how to change a tire, or how to properly tie a tie. And you better believe he’s got his fair share of dad jokes to boot!
The videos were something Rob said he’s always wanted to do — share important lessons that aren’t taught in high school — but he never could find the time. When the coronavirus pandemic forced the world to stay home for a while, he finally took the plunge.
With the help of his 27-year-old daughter, Kristine, who calls him with questions on “adulting” all the time, Rob’s weekly “how-to” videos have quickly grown in popularity.
“I want it to be about everyday tasks, but I also would like to pass along some of the wisdom I’ve learned along the way to encourage people,” Rob told Shattered Magazine.
“I thought I was just going to be showing people how to do stuff, but it’s kind of resonating on a whole different level.”
Rob had always wanted to leave a legacy—particularly for those who struggle with a broken home or absent parent. Having broken the pattern of generational chains in his own life, he wanted to be there for others in his shoes.
“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.”
After his parents divorced, Rob says his father won the raging custody battle, but was “done” with having kids.
“He got custody of us, but he didn’t really want us,” Rob said.