A bug’s life
Trying to teach your kids good habits? Author Tina Stubbs can help with her books Life's Little Bugs
What do you do when you’re trying to teach your kids some good habits but the message just doesn’t seem to sink in? You know what I’m talking about. The wash-your-hands nag that happens before every mealtime. And – if you’ve got toddlers – the screechy don’t draw on that as they’re about to re-decorate your Farrow and Ball feature wall with their favourite orange maker pen.
If you’re a talented illustrator with a vivid imagination and a flair for rhymes, the answer is quite obvious: you write and illustrate your own series of books.
Step forward Tina Stubbs, creator of the Life’s Little Bugs series. The first book was published just over a year ago, and she now has seven stories in the series with names like Flu Bug and Tummy Bug to Doodle Bug and Gum Bug.
The books were created them with one goal in mind, to find a more interesting way to get children to develop good habits, in a fun way. We had five minutes to ask Tina some quick question.
Where did the idea of Life’s Little Bugs come from?
As a single parent for a number of years trying to juggle work and parenting I know how tedious it can get to keep on at children about handwashing, tidying up, showing respect and many other important subjects to help them develop good habits. For the child they think you’re just nagging them!
So it got me thinking about using quirky, memorable characters and books that explain and trigger the habits in a fun way without the constant battle between adult and child.
What inspired you?
The idea grew from a few doodles on a work pad more than 10 years ago. The name ‘Life’s Little Bugs’ prompted the idea of those little life lessons we continually teach our children to help them socially and physically develop. It seemed like a perfect fit with the characters I had illustrated.
based How long did it take you to develop the concept?
I got help from professional health, hygiene and social behaviour to include in the rhyming text, making them a good and colourful reference for teaching young children wellbeing. Each book has a set of rules to follow that support the development of these little life lessons from handwashing to respect.
What are your three top tips for mums teaching their kids good habits?
Make it fun to learn and not a boring chore!
Repetition and praise are both proven to build habits but try to think of a variety of ways to do this whilst installing the same message to stimulate their enthusiasm to continue and not lose interest.
Make sure they actually understand why they need to learn this habit in the first place and the benefits of using it.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
I’ve come to like what I used to think were my flaws as they have given me some of my most memorable life experiences!