The Hibernating Bears: A Story About Lock Downs for Children
The Hibernating Bears helps children explore a real and scary potential reality in a safe, nurturing, and developmentally-appropriate way. Schools today provide extensive safety procedures to address the dreaded “what if” regarding a violent attack. These frightening scenarios may cause real anxiety in our students. But while psychologists tend to address anxiety and worry by recognizing that most fears are highly unrealistic - “it’s nothing to worry about” - we, as school professionals, have a different role; it is essential that we guide students through the practical steps of an emergency protocol in case such a scenario comes to fruition.
The Hibernating Bears provides a descriptive and clear framework using a visualization of a bear, who, like a child, loves to run and play. Yet, during the winter, the bear will hibernate, staying absolutely still for several months. So too, while children love to run and play, they will at times need to huddle together, remaining calm and quiet until a grown up tells them otherwise. Teaching our children to manage an otherwise fearful situation, through a familiar and endearing metaphor, enables children to do precisely what they need to do: remain calm.
The purpose of this book is to provide a framework for parents and teachers when taking students through the ins and outs of navigating a lockdown drill. We use the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT model, which clearly guides students how to manage a situation involving a dangerous intruder.