"Live your life. Live your life. Live your life." — Maurice Sendak, author of "Where the Wild things Are," to Terry Gross.
Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.
Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.
The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.
I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.
Clayton’s videos make a huge impact on people. His latest “Dinner With Dad” had 3 million views. Many share being brought to tears, for different reasons.
Happy Sunday❤️. Is school out for you??♬ gymnopédie no.1 - Edits
Some are reminded of what they once had with their own fathers.
“I’m never gonna have something like this again,” wrote one person.
Others lament what they will never get.
“I would die for my parents to say they are proud of me just once,” wrote another.
Most fully embrace Clayton as a stand-in father, sharing their personal triumphs, challenges, and insecurities.
One person shared, “Hi dad, I got into volleyball.”
Another vented, “Dad…I can’t sleep thinking about how scared I am of real life.”
Channeling Rob Kennedy, the creator of the “Dad How Do I?” YouTube series, Clayton also shares practical skills one might ask their father, such as how to tie a tie.
How to tie a tie!♬ original sound - Summer Clayton
Or shave. Although he says you do it the same way for every part of your body … I would double check with mom on that.
With his videos, Clayton exudes unconditional love and support, helping others feel accepted. In the video below, he happily offers his chips to kids who are straight and those who come out. And with both, he jokingly snatches the chip back. If that’s not dad behavior, I don’t know what is.
He’ll even tuck you in after you fall asleep to your favorite show. Pure sweetness.
POV:Dad teaches you to Shave🙂♬ original sound - Summer Clayton
Yep, Clayton gets dad jokes, in the best way. Like the time when he just couldn’t remember what special day it was … oh right, it’s your birthday. Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck. Then he presents three different cakes. It’s cheesy and delightful.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY🎉🎉🥳🥳🥳🎉🎉🎉♬ gymnopédie no.1 - Edits
Clayton might not be a biological father (yet), but he makes for one great dad. It’s lovely to see the power of the internet being harnessed in such a positive and uplifting way. Thanks to TikTok, it’s never too late to have dinner with dad.
Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.
Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.
Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.
Alberto started playing in 2020 in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy was one of the first countries to experience a serious lockdown, and Alberto's mother used the opportunity to start teaching her son to play piano. Alessia Cingolani and her husband Simone Cartuccia are both music conservatory graduates, and mom Alessia told Italian entertainment website Contrataque that she and her husband recognized Alberto's talent immediately.
She said that although Alberto spends a lot of time at the piano, he also has plenty of time for school and play and television, like a normal kid.
There's genuinely nothing "normal" about this kid's piano playing, though. Watch:
Wow, right? There are countless adults who took years of piano lessons and never got to that level of playing. It's like he's channeling Amadeus himself.
According to Corriere Adriatico, by the time he was 4 1/2 years old, Alberto had participated in seven national and international online competitions and won first place in all of them. His mother told the outlet that he started out practicing for about 10 minutes a day and gradually increased to three hours.
"He has a remarkable flair for the piano," she said. Um, yeah. Clearly.
Some commenters expressed some concern for the boy based on his seriousness and what looks like dark circles under his eyes in the video, but if you check out other videos of Alberto playing at home, he is more relaxed. Most of his playing and competition entries have been done online, so performing for a crowd is probably new for him. And in interviews, his mother has made it clear that they prioritize normal childhood activities.
Some children are just genuine prodigies, and Alberto certainly seems to fit that bill. Can't wait to see what kind of musical future awaits this kid.
As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.
How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.
One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.
And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?
In some ways, that era was simpler. We weren't bombarded with information and opinions about every issue in the world 24/7 and had the freedom to just be kids. At the same time, I personally have no desire to go back. (My straight, fine hair was not made for the '80s.)
However, one dad is bringing full-on nostalgia to millions of Gen Xers with a viral TikTok he made about sharing his '80s childhood with his 8-year-old son. Justin H (who goes by @shadyraro on TikTok) included photos and descriptions of things all '80s kids will recognize and it's like hopping into a time machine.
Like, the unwound cassette tape struggle was genuinely real. Grab a pencil, start winding and pray. "The A-Team"? Totally. Streetlight curfew? Yep.
The 80’s was the best decade #80s #80skid #oldschool #genx #parents #funny #family #foryou #fyp
The video has been viewed more than 10 million times this week, with commenters neck-deep in their feelings about their childhood flashbacks.
"I miss them days, technology has taken away so much," wrote one commenter.
"Miss the 80s era but unfortunately us kids were the remote control," wrote another. (So true. Changing the channel was exercise.)
"The 80's cannot be explained...it was an experience...a complete vibe all its own...and if you missed it I'm so sorry for you!" wrote another.
And if you feel like there were some things missing, no worries. There's a Part Two:
The 80’s was the best decade Part 2 #80s #80skid #oldschool #genx #parents #funny #family #foryou #fyp
The ashtray in the back of the car seat! The phone booth! The Walkman! The overhead projector. So my childhood. I can practically taste the Tang and Twinkies.
Kids today will never know the ugly beauty of growing up in the '80s, but someday they'll have their own tales to tell their kids that they'll look on with fondness and nostalgia. "We used to spend hours building things with little digital blocks in Minecraft…"
There's never been anything like the '80s and there never will be again. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Justin H.