PARENTS

UK Parenting Expert Caught In Barcelona Terror Attack Puts Tips On Talking To Kids About Terror Into Practice

'I’d say always talk calmly and avoid horrific details.'

18/08/2017 18:39
Getty/Fi Star-Stone
Parenting expert Fi Star-Stone is on holiday in Barcelona near the scene of Las Ramblas terror attack with her children aged six and seven

 A British mum and dad on holiday with their two young children in Barcelona, Spain have defiantly decided to stay in the city despite initial fears.

Parenting expert Fi Star-Stone, 42, and Richard Stone, 41, from the Midlands, are staying in a hotel not far from Las Ramblas where 14 people were killed on Thursday. 

The couple, who have taken Oscar, six, and Betsy, seven, away during the school holidays arrived at an apartment nearby around the same time a van mowed into pedestrians on the bustling shopping street.

They were advised to stay in their apartment and stayed there until Friday morning - while discussing how they should approach the harrowing topic with their two young children.

Sergio Perez / Reuters
Tributes in Las Ramblas

Star-Stone told HuffPost UK: “As we arrived at the apartment the guy who owns the apartment said he’d just had a text asking if we had arrived as something had happened. We literally arrived as it was happening so we stayed inside.

“We heard the sirens and helicopters circulating all night.

“We kept it from the children yesterday and made excuses that we were tired so would stay in our apartment.

“After a big chat last night , we decided to stay. We told the little ones this morning because we’d rather them hear from us rather than from the radio or newspapers and be scared.

“We’ve chatted more and reassured them and told them about safety.”

Determined not to let the horrific incident keep them inside, the family joined many other defiant holidaymakers and locals on the streets.

The mum-of-two added: “We avoided busy outside places today and have had a nice day together. There was a really positive vibe on the streets with everyone out and about.

“There were armed police everywhere and we have felt safe. Shopkeepers keep giving the little ones sweets. It’s a beautiful city and it’s a tragedy this has happened to such a wonderful and kind community.

“We travel lots. This won’t stop us travelling.”

Star-Stone, an author who has made several television appearances as a parenting adviser, has shared her top tips for talking to children about terrorism with HuffPost readers.

I’d say always talk calmly and avoid horrific details.

We’ve spoken to them about terrorism before in a very basic way - try things like ‘naughty people who want to hurt other people’.

We also have a plan in place. We explained that it’s very unlikely but one day we might have to suddenly run away from a naughty person but stay very calm.

My daughter will go with daddy and I will go with my son (that way we aren’t scrambling over children and know what to do should the worst happen).

We’d run and keep running and meet later if we lost each other

Children ask questions so answer with very basic responses rather than ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ they don’t need to be informed of details - just that they need to be safe.

We always make an informed choice before travelling. Research risks and look at gov website for details. (UK was higher risk than Barcelona.)

For us it’s about seeing the world but being aware things can happen - not just terrorism. Making a plan for any eventuality - Natural disasters etc. And to not be scared but be aware and be safe

We teach the little ones to be kind and welcoming of all race and religion - it isn’t Muslims that commit these awful crimes. It’s extremists. Remember ‘Naughty people’.


Star-Stone, who will remain in Spain for the next few days added: “They understand that people died and were very badly hurt like London and Manchester. But they are very young and I don’t think they understand the enormity of it.

“But it’s a start. And for us it’s about them knowing what to do if something awful happened. Sadly something I think many families need to think about now.”

 

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