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This Gamer and First-Time Dad Shares The Importance of Self-Awareness

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In a world of uncertainty, first-time dad and gaming YouTuber Jonah Ople wishes to impart self-awareness, kindness, and perseverance to his son Quino.

The pandemic truly put things into perspective for many parents and parents-to-be. Jonah Ople slightly panicked when he found out his wife Clara was pregnant in 2020. “What if I lose my job? Or what if the company decides to shut down?” he thought to himself. It was understandable since he worked in fashion for a large e-commerce site. And at that time, it wasn’t considered an essential.

“I started thinking of what other jobs or rackets I can get myself into with my current skillset. I realized that they were very few. And I needed to upgrade what I knew. Somehow, making a YouTube channel made a lot of sense!”

That was how his gaming channel, JONVHGAMING, was born.

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jonah ople clara ople and quino
Jonah with his wife Clara and son Quino

The Beginnings of JONVHGAMING

“It was so attractive to me mainly because I knew nothing about cameras, talking in front of a camera, and editing videos. I just wanted to see progress in things I knew nothing about with the hope that it can be something of use one day. And thank God that video calls were a thing. Because all that time talking to myself in front of a camera really helped me communicate better to my ‘real-life’ audience, the corporate guys!” he laughs.

Once he made up his mind about making a channel, picking a topic was his next objective. “Honestly, I first wanted to make one about trade marketing, e-commerce, or what a decade working in corporate looked like. While I really am passionate about these topics, there was just no spark in creating videos about what I already do every day. So I turned to my other hobbies. And video games really did speak to me. Not only was it one of the most popular topics on the Internet. But it was also something that I have been interested in since I was a kid. I wasn’t an expert or anything. However, I loved talking to my friends about the latest games, stuff we played while in school, controllers, and anything related!”

On top of creating content for his channel, Jonah Ople currently works for TikTok Shop where he’s building a new platform from scratch. After work, he enjoys hanging out with his young family. “Whatever time is left, I try to learn more about content creation and of course, I play video games!”

Looking Forward to Playing Video Games with His Son

When Quino is old enough, Jonah is eager to play video games with him. “We could start with some classics. Like Mario Kart then maybe something more recent like Overcooked—just to see if he can be a team player. But when he comes of age, I’d really like to share some of the games that had some effect on me growing up. Especially Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and Fighting Game genres.”

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“Now I know it would be weird for parents to suggest something potentially violent like Tekken or even Smash Bros. But growing up, I had a lot of time spent playing fighting games. And I would like to believe that I was able to get something out of it more than entertainment.”

“There was the discipline in training. Knowing how to make characters move around the stage, what moves to use in several scenarios, and basically executing perfectly during a match. These were things I practiced endlessly. Then you try to test your skills against other players. And you learn stuff every time. So you just want to keep doing it and try to get better than the last time. In a way, it sounds funny because usually you’d hear athletes talk about this stuff. But not everybody could get that kind of experience and I guess this was my outlet for that.”

“RPGs on the other hand immersed me in different worlds. Not to mention—computing for stats and having to learn the English language much faster for me to keep up! It was Final Fantasy VII that first introduced me to this world. And hopefully by the time that Quino can play them, the remakes are finished. I wish I could’ve played games like Persona, Tales of Berseria, and Fire Emblem in my youth as their themes would have been interesting for me. But back then, I was too busy playing another series. One that I am sure to recommend him is Pokemon! It just has it all in my opinion. And it’s the reason why most people are still in love with the brand and its games.”

Jonah Ople and His Family Dynamics

Both Jonah and his wife Clara have worked in corporate for years. And it was this experience that allowed them to establish their systems and routines at home. “Clara and I are retail planners by profession. And I think some of that has trickled down to our family dynamics. Generally, we like to keep and stick to a schedule as much as we can and divide the work based on our strengths.”

This is evident in how Jonah and Clara handled their son’s sleep schedule and when he started eating solid foods. “Clara would research ways to approach this, talk to friends, and read articles. I trusted how thorough she was in this aspect. We attended classes on Sleep Training and Baby-Led Weaning (BLW).”

“Those needed a lot of things to be pieced together. And that’s where I came in. I researched on how to properly set up the nursery to get the most conducive environment for sleeping and tracking. Stuff like white noise machines, baby monitors, and how to black out the room. For BLW, we both pitched in the execution. Clara would prepare the food because it takes some precision that I do not have. Meanwhile, I got into researching suitable highchairs and accessories that would make the eating experience a little bit better for Quino.”

Jonah adds that they were fortunate enough to be working from home and were present for Quino from the beginning. “We couldn’t do it all on our own though,” he admits. “We live quite far from our relatives and being able to find good household help who is also aligned with the values and training we want for our child is a big help.”

The Fourth Trimester from a Father’s Point of View

More often, we hear moms sharing their experiences about postpartum challenges. But what about dads? Jonah shares his sentiments. “I think I was just scared half the time—to be honest. I wasn’t so sure of myself and how I would be as a dad. There was pressure for me to be a role model and to be the stable foundation of the family. I hardly felt that I was anywhere near those. I had fears of not being able to provide the best life for my family and not being available for important events because I got caught up at work. These fears really crippled my ability to just enjoy time spent with my son especially in the first few days.”

But thanks to a loving and supportive wife, he was able to get over it. “Even as she was probably going through some challenges herself, she found the time and strength to still reassure me that I was doing alright. I would always turn to her as she would to me whenever we would feel scared or discouraged. I think that going through this as partners really goes a long way. And I am so grateful to have married such a wonderful person.”

Jonah Ople on the Importance of Validating His Toddler’s Feelings

With Quino turning two years old this year, Jonah Ople gives a glimpse of their parenting style. “Quino in the last few months started becoming vocal with his NOs and points at things he wants to play with constantly. While we currently discourage some things like phone screens and sleeping late, we also want to achieve balance and not to be too strict and make him feel deprived.”

“I think reading up about our babies or toddlers cannot possibly prepare us for everything. A lot of our parenting choices come from the knowledge we’ve gotten from them. When Quino gets angry about something we disallow, he would scream, cry, or throw stuff.”

“Before I became a dad, I knew very little about tantrums and just blamed the child’s parents all the time. But through reading up on the subject, I found that these might be occurring because the baby or toddler doesn’t know how to communicate or doesn’t understand his own feelings or environment. It was an eye opener for me on how little I understood and just kept a habit on reading up on it and talking about it with my wife so we can be aligned on our approach. Because of this, we calmly try to tell him our reasons and no matter what, we always give him hugs to show him that he has people who love him.”

Jonah Ople: “Being aware of our own reality is helpful in figuring out how to be a better father, partner, and person in general.”

Soon-to-be parents can definitely pick up a thing or two from Jonah’s philosophies in raising his family. He advises planning and aligning with your partner no matter what the outcome is. “It’s good to have learned about potential situations and tendencies so that there is less panic and surprise. You would have better judgement on some situations. And if ever something happens that’s radically different, then you are at least aware that it is not normal and you can build upon what you’ve experienced. Doing this with your partner not only makes you more prepared. But I think it also forms a stronger bond between the both of you.”

Moreover, Jonah accepts that no parent is perfect. “We have our own issues and struggles to face while raising our children and that’s okay. Being aware of our own reality is helpful in figuring out how to be a better father, partner, and person in general.” Because of this, he strives to model kindness and perseverance so that Quino can be the same way.

Last but not least, he says to always enjoy time with family. “I often got so pressured to succeed in a lot of things that I forgot to take time out of my schedule to just relish these moments together as a small unit. When I made this decision to be more present, I ensured that there are times in the day I keep sacred for family. And it’s made my days a lot better.”

Read more stories about dads on Modern Parenting:

How Being a National Athlete Helped Shaped This Dad’s Parenting Style

Dr. Z Teo: On The Evolving Definitions of Parenting, Business, and Success

Intentional Parenting: Hayden Kho Futureproofs His Family of Three