The Strength Of A Bear, is the first in the Jungle School series of uplifting stories, supporting little bears and particularly boy bears to grow up with the emotional tools to survive, thrive and have fun in the jungle.
Through Tuffdy and Frida’s adventures we learn that being strong is not about hiding our difficult feelings away, but instead it’s talking to those who care about us, when we’re feeling at our most vulnerable.
In an imaginative way, the stories challenge the most damaging rule that children learn about what it means to be a “man,” or to be “strong.” That feelings of vulnerability need to be locked away inside, as showing them is unmanly and not “strong”. When, in reality, vulnerability is part of what it is to be human (or a bear!) and children have the right to know that it’s ok to have and share these feelings.
By turning this view of being “strong” on its head, children can see that feeling vulnerable in someway is normal and talking to those who care about us when we’re feeling sad, lonely or scared, is something to be proud of and a sign of strength.
From working with men in the criminal justice system, and my own personal experiences, I believe that no child, boy or girl, should grow up believing that hiding their feelings away makes them anymore of a man or a woman. Regardless of gender, strength is about talking to those who care about us when we are at our most vulnerable.
“The strength of a bear, We know what it takes, talk to someone who cares, if happiness breaks”