Social media can often seem like a vapid time-suck, full of nothing but angry strangers and incessant ads.
And while that may be true, platforms like TikTok are full of hidden gems with meaningful messages.
As we look back on 2021, reflecting on the things we’ve learned and experienced, let’s take a look at the good things to come out of social media — namely, the TikTok dads who taught us some invaluable life lessons.
These viral clips might only span 60 seconds, but their impact could last a lifetime.
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1. Father of the bride reminds us to put drama aside
Blended families needn’t be rife with conflict and animosity, as TikToker Kelsey Griffith (@griffithk5) taught us on her now-viral wedding day. Rather than walk his daughter down the aisle all by himself, this father of the bride shared the spotlight with the bride’s stepfather — reminding us to celebrate all of the loving figures in our children’s lives. After all, it takes a village!
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2. Dad’s hilarious prank reminds us to parent with love and laughter
It’s easy to let stress and frustration get the best of us, especially when kids act up. But dad and prankster @rhythmlessman reminded us that it’s possible to reprimand our kids with humor — in fact, doing so might be more effective than reacting with anger! When he caught his teen son sneaking out, his elaborate Alexa prank taught his son a lesson in the funniest way.
3. Dad’s bathtub discovery reminds us to parent without judgment
Kids, just like adults, experience a range of big and often difficult emotions — and they need our help navigating those emotions in a healthy way. When @brandon_rainwater discovered his 11-year-old was “drinking” in the bathtub, his supportive and judgment-free reaction went viral.
4. Dad’s impressive reflexes remind us to always stay vigilant
It can sometimes feel like kids are seeking ways to injure themselves, no matter what precautions we take. TikTok mom @rachkreitz captured the hair-raising moment her little one walked right into harm’s way — but her quick-thinking dad spared her from injury. When it comes to little ones, always keep one eye open!
5. Bonus dad shaving his stepson reminds us that family isn’t defined by DNA
Being family doesn’t necessarily mean sharing the same last name, bloodline or family tree. Mom and TikToker @stilettosandsincity poignantly reminded us of that when she captured her husband lovingly shaving her 24-year-old son, who was born with Down syndrome. Despite not being blood-related, their father-son relationship touched millions of hearts.
6. Post-vasectomy dad reminds us to smile in the face of tribulation
Life can be full of aches and pains, both physically and emotionally. But as TikToker @shelbthestylist reminded us, laughter is still the best medicine for life’s many ailments. This dad’s post-vasectomy humor is sure to carry him through the healing process — and whatever else life might throw at him down the road.
7. Suddenly naked dad reminds us to take things in stride
One minute, things are going swimmingly in life — and the next second, you’re standing buck-naked in broad daylight. But just like @mr_mrs_wash taught us, when you find yourself in confusing and scary situations (like your swimming trunks mysteriously dissolving), just keep cool, laugh it off, and seek shelter (and clothing).
8. Dad trashing ‘son’s’ house reminds us to find the bless in the mess
Our homes, just like our lives, can sometimes feel chaotic and disheveled. Thanks to our little ones, a tidy room can be turned upside-down in a matter of minutes. But, as @chris.cluff reminds us, kids will one day grow up and have homes of their own — so treasure all those little messy moments.
9. First-time dad’s tears remind us to treasure every “first“
The first smile, the first steps, the first loose tooth — our lives with kids are full of special little “firsts.” TikToker @addyshiloh captured one dad’s very special “first” when he held his newborn baby boy for the very first time. Don’t blink, or you just might miss those special moments in life!
10. Dad and toddler’s workout routine reminds us to make the everyday magical
Tedium. Our lives can sometimes feel defined by it. Buying groceries, paying bills, working out — those pesky little errands that seemingly distract us from “real” life. But what if we turned those boring, everyday tasks into precious moments we’ll remember forever? That’s what @babyznme did when he started working out with his baby girl. This dad reminds us that with a little effort and love, life’s boring routines can become something magical.
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