Man Gathers A Following Of 2.5M People On TikTok For Being Their Father Figure, Offering Life Advice And ‘Dinner With Dad’ | Bored Panda
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Man Gathers A Following Of 2.5M People On TikTok For Being Their Father Figure, Offering Life Advice And ‘Dinner With Dad’

Man Gathers A Following Of 2.5M People On TikTok For Being Their Father Figure, Offering Life Advice And ‘Dinner With Dad’ Interview With Author

I write this sitting on the sofa. Of course, it is not as exciting as sitting in the kitchen sink. Whilst negativity rains down in the news media like a thunderstorm in summertime, I invite you to join me, sit next to me, and revel in a story of hope, wonderment, and pure goodness.

A man has been inviting people (similarly as I am now) to virtually join him for dinner. But here’s the kicker – he’s also giving advice and praise as a dad would his children, aiming to provide a safe space for all those without a father figure to lean on.

Before we get into the details of the story, I’d like to ask you to upvote, follow and leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Now grab some snacks, join me on the sofa of happiness and let’s dive in.

More info: Instagram | TikTok

Meet Summer Clayton or Your Proud Dad, as he’s known on TikTok to his 2.5M kids, coming to him for wholesome, feel-good content

Image credits: officialyourprouddad

Summer Clayton, better known as Your Proud Dad, is the father of his 2.5M kids on TikTok. His whole channel is dedicated to providing the experience of having a father figure, especially for those that have not had one before or whose relationships are compromised.

The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment, each video garnering 2-3M views and hundreds of comments, asking for advice or sharing their experiences.

The concept is fairly simple. Summer sets down two plates of delicious-looking food, then offers a short prayer to bless the feast, proceeding to ask you how you’re doing and how your day’s been.

One of his most popular segments is “Dinner With Dad” where he invites you to share a meal, whilst being asked about your day and offered advice

Image credits: yourprouddad

The idea, although quite simple, works well for people of all ages who just need someone there to talk to and be told ‘I love you’

Image credits: yourprouddad

The idea works well for people of all ages who need a friend or a family member on a day which went either fantastically or terribly, but with no one to really turn to. Many have been brought to tears, some being reminded of what they once had with the fathers they’d lost, others – grieving what they’ve never experienced.

But what is for certain – most appreciate Summer and his efforts to bring a sense of calm, stability and care into our lives. Some people actually write very personal stories, triumphs and struggles in the comments, as if they were speaking to their own dad.

One person shared, “Hi dad, I got into volleyball,” and another said “Dad… I can’t sleep thinking about how scared I am of real life.” And what’s amazing – Summer replies back to them with some advice or acknowledgement, making their days better.

Image credits: yourprouddad

Summer told Bored Panda that the inspiration for the series came from his relationship with his own dad. They were “really close at first but it degraded sometime in early adolescence.” He recalled having a bit of a strained relationship with the parents, specifically his father.

“Our relationship is much better now and, even through the negative portions, I still find that the good memories influence the type of content I make,” he said. Some of the memories he shared of his dad can be clearly seen in the videos.

Summer recalled the time when he’d fall asleep on the couch: “My Dad would carry me to my room and tuck me in! This was actually the inspiration for one of my videos where I virtually tucked my followers in bed.”

He also let on that his dad has quite the sweet tooth. “My dad loved certain deserts,” he said. “He liked peanut brittle and lemon condensed pie and would make these two often. It was always awesome watching his eyes light up as we helped him cool the candy on counter.”

Image credits: yourprouddad

What seems to have followed Summer into adulthood is his good heart and craving to help others in need. Growing up he faced bullying and certain strains as they “were a low income family.”

He said that “often on the weekends, when we made our first move out of Richmond, CA, we would make the trek down to the rescue mission/food bank to pick up food. It was a time for my Dad and I to bond as we hauled our groceries 6 miles round trip.” However, his faith and empathy kept him going, growing into the creator he is today.

Funnily enough, one follower addressed him as ‘dad’ very early on in his TikTok journey, but it was the starting point that ignited the idea. “I decided that this was a perfect way to help others and to care of others. Simple hygienic tutorials turned to cooking tutorials, meal time point of view videos and more and now I have a large (albeit virtual) family,” Summer explained.

From heartfelt conversations to practical advice, Summer’s channel is dedicated to providing the experience of having a father figure

Image credits: yourprouddad

If you need any practical advice, Summer’s got you covered! He shares practical tips and teaches you skills that a typical dad is expected to teach, like tying a tie or shaving. He also tucks you in and says a prayer for you.

Summer wrote in an Instagram post how grateful he is to all his followers and the love they show him: “Lately I’ve been praying to God after every video, thanking him for any, ‘views, exposure, or fame’ that come from the content I create. This gratitude always seems to pay off as he continues to multiply the people who support me. In any case it’s nice to be recognized and I’m proud of myself and so thankful for all of you!”

He also told Bored Panda: “Some of the most touching messages I receive come from people who detail how much their day is better, how much I remind them of, or help them process the loss of a loved one, or overall how nice it is to look forward to my content. I get especially excited when older adults or people who are my age encourage me, as it validates that I’m not just some crazy guy talking to his phone on TikTok.”

Image credits: yourprouddad

The main message he’d like to spread with his content, though, is remember and practice empathy. “I believe Jesus is a good example of the ‘Golden Rule’ perfected,” he said. “In John 15;12 Jesus tells us to, ‘Love one another as He (Jesus) loves us.’ In a small way I think my content allows me to continue to practice this.”

“This content, as much as it is therapeutic for others, is a practice for me as well to be a better person, to love others better and to embody empathy,” Summer explained, believing that this practice could help bridge certain divides and gaps that are prevalent today.

It’s certainly brought a lot of people together, as everything Summer posts radiates positivity and goodness. But let’s also dive into the importance of having a positive role model and person to lean on, especially when it comes to our development in society.

Everyone needs a role model and a person to lean on and we are happy that Summer can be both, especially as so many grow up without a father figure present

Image credits: yourprouddad

It might come as no surprise that humans are social creatures, very much shaped by social and psychosocial influences within their community.

The collection of our experiences shapes how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world around us. Gian Vittorio Caprara and Patrizia Steca have argued that “the more confident people are in their capacities, the more resilient they are when confronting setbacks and adversities.”

Confidence comes from vindication and confirmation of ourselves and our actions by our parents and loved ones when we’re children, causing an interesting collaboration between outside and inside sources for the feeling of self-assurance.

As we have to have a foundation of sorts to leap off from, when that foundation is not built by family or society, one can grow up doubting themselves and their worth.

It doesn’t help that the human brain has a tendency to care more about the negative things that happen in life than the positive. Psychologists refer to this as negativity bias.

Image credits: yourprouddad

“Our brains are wired to scout for the bad stuff” and fixate on the threat, says psychologist and author Rick Hanson. Criticism often has a greater impact than compliments and bad news frequently draws more attention than good. But it’s not necessarily by choice as it’s more of an evolutionary process, as it comes with seeing problems and seeking solutions.

So where am I going with this? Well, studies show that positive thinking is good for both our mental and physical health. Dr. Hanson suggests that when you have a good experience, no matter how mild it may be, “try to stay with it for 20 or 30 seconds in a row – instead of getting distracted by something else.”

This process helps strengthen positive thinking patterns in your brain. The more you practice savoring positive moments and taking in the good, the easier it will become for you to think positively.

He’s incredibly grateful for all the support that’s come his way, however, it’s clear that he’s become an essential part of so many lives

Image credits: yourprouddad

Thinking positively doesn’t mean that you have to love yourself all the time. Rather, you should strive to see yourself compassionately and treat yourself with the same kindness and respect that you would offer to a friend. But it does help to have someone else bringing you up when you’re down, whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a role model on social media.

Research findings indicate that adolescents who can identify a positive role model in their lives have higher grades and self-esteem than those who can’t.

It seems that teens are influenced by a variety of adults and peers that are instrumental in developing career aspirations, educational goals, and social behavior. Of course the closest adults in any child’s life are their parents, but what happens when the father figure is absent?

And of course, nothing makes you scream ‘dad!’ as much as fun close-up selfies do. This man has fatherhood nailed to a T!

Image credits: officialyourprouddad

So far, we know that kids who grow up with a present, engaged dad are less likely to drop out of school or wind up in jail, compared to children with absent fathers and no other male caretakers or role models.

Studies suggest that when fathers are involved in everyday tasks, such as dinner prep, games and conversations, rather than expensive but one-off trips, children benefit more. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.4 million children, 1 in 4, live without a biological, step, or adoptive father in the home.

Image credits: officialyourprouddad

An absence of dad means an absence of benefits. “For dads that live far away, it doesn’t seem there’s tons of evidence that what they do matters for their children,” says sociologist Marcy Carlson.

When “being away” means being behind bars, kids face additional challenges – sometimes more serious ones than what they would have faced had their fathers died or left due to divorce. “Most of the literature on widowhood shows that kids whose dads died are better off than kids who go through a divorce,” she says.

We wish Summer many happy days ahead and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Image credits: officialyourprouddad

Taking all this information in and applying it to what Summer’s managed to do, he’s providing a sense of consistency and calm, presence and positivity to people who might not have access to those things outside of his platform.

Whether it be for a minute a day or binge watching his videos for that sense of togetherness, there’s something for everyone who wants to escape the tirade of the regular and, as Summer says, “sometimes all people need is a smile, a kind word, an embrace.”

We wish Summer all the best in his endeavors and can’t wait to see what he does next!

You can watch one of the segments here

@yourprouddadHappy Sunday❤️. Is school out for you??♬ gymnopédie no.1 – Edits

Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, share your opinions and your stories! Otherwise, I shall leave you for the moment, dear reader, and wish you a happy and blessed day!

People have expressed how much they appreciate Summer’s work. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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