Modern fatherhood is a lot more involved than it was in previous generations, with far more proud dads able to boast about their diaper-changing skills than ever. This is undeniably a good thing, but is obviously an overwhelming experience — especially for millennial dads who may feel like they’re learning parenting skills from scratch.
Dad vlogger Kier Gaines, who runs the Youtube channel “Kier And Them,” knows all too well the nuances of navigating parenthood as a young person. While the highs the family celebrate are wonderful, he never shies away from the hurdles they face juggling responsibilities, instilling values, and making mistakes.
During a walk around a South Carolina neighbourhood with his two-year-old daughter Emery — who you may remember as the adorable toddler whose reaction to eating ketchup went viral — Gaines offered some wise words for fellow Black men excited to start their own families: “Start healing.”
Originally posted in 2019 as part of a birthday vlog, Gaines starts his advice with praise for men are breaking traditional gender norms, before lamenting the growing pains of parenthood with a simple statement: “Bro, this is hard!”
He went on to explain that fatherhood “exposes things about you that you didn’t know about yourself. It exposes all your insecurities. It’s a huge emotional undertaking if you do it the right way.”
His words earned him a nod from actress Viola Davis.
“Send this to someone who could use a word!” Davis wrote with her reshare.
Although fans of Gaines, his wife Noémie, or any family vlog channel may watch these videos for the cute family moments they share, Kier hammered home a lesson: A tremendous amount of personal growth goes on behind-the-scenes to be emotionally connected to your partner and family. Growth that, he believes, requires self-improvement.
“Before you take on a family, bruh, go see somebody about your past. Go see somebody about the trauma you endured throughout your life and start healing,” he said, before ending his video with a final, breakfast-themed tip to those who think they “can just pour water over a lady and a baby” for an instantly perfect family. “This ain’t oatmeal, man!”
His message on personal growth and unlearning toxic masculinity resonated online.
While his entire speech is laden with great guidance, we can definitely see young dads everywhere adopting “This ain’t oatmeal” as the ultimate motivational quote.
Clocking in under two minutes, Gaines’ speech has given people a lot of food for thought and hopefully, will inspire more young men to seek the healing they need.
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