The fears and joys of single fatherhood | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Ferdi Salvador and daughter Carine —Ed Simon of Modern Parenting
Ferdi Salvador and daughter Carine —Ed Simon of Modern Parenting

I t’s hard to imagine publicist Ferdi Salvador worrying about anything. His job description is literally about being on top of crises. But being a parent, a single parent at that, means that worries are part of the package.

“You’re never ready to have a child. I remember waking up in a cold sweat, thinking of how I would rear this child. What if I break her? There’s fear, but then you get over that. You work from each step without realizing that you’re overcoming each step,” he said.

Salvador constantly worries about his daughter Carine, now 11. In the beginning he was concerned about her getting physically hurt. He said that if he could have put her in bubble wrap, he would have. The stuff that worries him keep evolving as she grows older.

Family coparenting

“I want her to be an upright person. I want her to be ethical. I worry about how social media will affect her,” he said.

He also thinks about her future romantic relationships, now that she’s an adolescent. Salvador tries to be cool about it, but in reality, he said he’s screaming in his head.The solo dad got help from his family. They have been around since Carine was born. His mom became Carine’s mother figure and his siblings also became parent figures. His brother Suki is his daughter’s sounding board, especially about topics that she doesn’t want to discuss with her dad. Carine goes to his sister Regina to ask about things concerning changes in her body.

“I am very lucky that my family and I are coparents. My mom lives with us. It’s not very difficult. The most difficult part is being away from her because of work,” Salvador said.

People might think that having a jet-set lifestyle means that you leave everything behind, but that’s not the case at all, said Salvador. He really tries to give Carine his best even when he’s physically away. Communication is always open. Phone calls, video calls and text messages keep them close.

When he’s at home, they do things together. They watch movies and eat out. Food is their love language. There are no nannies when they travel so they can bond. They also do grocery shopping together.

“My way of bonding with her is, I teach her how to spend money wisely—and to be generous to other people,” he said.

Salvador is proud to say that Carine is growing up to become a level-headed person. This is because they never babied her. They talk to her like an adult, perfectly capable of understanding situations.

“She grew up with a lot of adults around her. The way she thinks is more mature than her peers,” he said. She’s also very open to talk about her feelings.

Cool, disciplinarian dad

Salvador wanted to become a cool father in the beginning. But he’s turning out to be a cool father who also disciplines his child. He describes his parenting style as democratic parenthood. When his daughter is in trouble, she decides on what kind of punishment she deserves. She has never abused this power.

“She rarely gets in trouble, but when she does, she knows it’s serious,” he said.

Grounding is not practiced; instead, gadgets are confiscated. That is the worst punishment one can give to a child of this generation. When Carine was younger, she was made to face the wall for three minutes as punishment. Salvador said that it hurt him more, because three minutes felt like three hours to him.

Each punishment also ends with a conversation. They talk about what she’s done and why she was punished for it.

The biggest challenge for him, said Salvador, is to continue being a good provider. He wants to give her the best education and other life experiences such as traveling.

“I save for health care, rewards and education, because I will not always be there for her,” he said. When Carine was a baby, he would bring a piece of her clothing in a Ziploc bag whenever he flew for work, a way to keep her close even when they were apart.

Salvador says that his wish as a parent is for his daughter to grow up into a conscientious person, someone who uplifts others with her actions.

“I want people to admire her not because of what she has or what she has accomplished, but for the kind of a person that she becomes,” he said. INQ

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