Not everybody has a father who is engaged or has taken an active role in their lives. One way this has really been highlighted is by the existence of a YouTube channel called, “Dad, How Do I?” where Rob Kenney makes how-to videos that teach practical skills (and share dad jokes) aimed at helping people who didn’t or don’t have somebody around to teach them different skills. He expected his videos to maybe reach dozens of people, but he wanted to have them available for his kids and grandkids.
Kenney’s how-to videos for home repairs, car repairs, cooking, and a variety of other topics and skills have reached far, far more people than that. His YouTube channel has four million subscribers! We typically think of things going viral because they’re especially controversial or feature somebody showing off a special talent, but the success of Kenney’s channel is a pretty strong indicator that our world is really in need of kind, caring people who will take the time to pass their experience along to others. In other words, we need more people out there with a dad mindset!
I know the challenge of this just like anybody else does. I’m not good at fixing things mechanically, but I really enjoy working out in my yard. Teaching my kids and grandkids how to help with the yardwork means that the jobs take longer and won’t be done to my usual standards. However, there is obviously a huge benefit to including them. We get quality time together, I get to teach them useful skills, and we can have some fun while also learning about responsibility and hard work.
This isn’t my attempt to glamorize pulling weeds or edging along the sidewalk. These moments that might seem like they’re “just” doing chores or “only” working on the to-do list are actually significant opportunities to share time together, instill confidence, and invest in our kids and grandkids. So, fathers (or grandfathers or uncles or neighbors), let’s invest in the kids in our lives. It may take us extra time and effort, but it’s absolutely worth it.