The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

by Erica Curtis, Ping Ho
The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

by Erica Curtis, Ping Ho


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2019 National Parenting Products Award Winner

Even the best talk-based practices in parenting can be limiting. How can art help parents temper storms of emotion, defuse sibling conflicts, get teeth brushed, and raise happy, successful kids? In The Innovative Parent, Erica Curtis and Ping Ho integrate cutting-edge research, years of clinical expertise, and their own parenting experience into a revolutionary yet practical guide to creative parenting. Plentiful illustrations and anecdotes bring concepts to life and show art in action with kids and parents.

Together, Curtis and Ho let parents in on art therapy trade secrets to help children make sense of emotions, build connections with others, develop problem-solving skills, resolve day-to-day conflicts, process and retain information, confront fears and anxiety, and much more. These are complex tasks for something as seemingly simple as making art, yet therein lies the beauty of The Innovative Parent: its down-to-earth approach is simple, doable, and fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804012157
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 04/15/2019
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Erica Curtis is a board-certified art therapist, licensed marriage and family therapist, and internationally cited expert on parenting, relationships, and mental health, specializing in creative and cutting-edge approaches to psychotherapy and teaching. She lives in southern California with her husband and three children.

Ping Ho is founder and director of UCLArts & Healing, which offers training and community education in the use of creative expression for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment. She has master’s degrees in counseling psychology and public health, and an extensive background in the performing arts. She and her husband have raised two children and now have two young grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

How to Use This Book xiii

Chapter 1 Talk Less, Draw, Dance, and Sing More 1

Why art? 1

When words aren't enough 3

Keep parenting goals in mind 6

Find the fun 7

The not-so-artsy parent 9

Chapter 2 Why We Love to Hate Glitter Glue (and Other Struggles with Art) 11

Where limits meet freedom of expression 12

Messy, loud, and off-key 20

Destruction 25

Letting go 33

Chapter 3 Survive the Day 36

Creative cures to conflicts 37

Time to brush teeth, doo wop, doo wop 45

Behavior is communication (even with siblings) 49

Buyers beware 53

(Useful) praise 56

Chapter 4 Connect First 62

A hidden language 63

A doorway to talking 73

Rebuild lost connection 77

The ties that bind 84

When kids struggle to connect 87

Chapter 5 Raise Happy Kids 93

Tolerating challenging feelings 94

Releasing and containing feelings 102

A reflection of the self 111

De-Stress 120

Confronting fears 123

Chapter 6 Raise Successful Kids 130

Maximize the nutritional content of art 130

Why creative thinkers matter … a lot 132

From preschool to graduate school 138

But I am paying attention 148

Hidden barriers to academic success 154

Chapter 7 Tap Into Your Own Inner Artist 158

Develop a creative mindset 158

Find inspiration in the mundane 160

Use mental imagery to get unstuck 163

Access your inner resources 166

Relax and recharge 174

Epilogue 181

Appendix 1 Guidelines for Talking about Art and Life 183

Appendix 2 Supplies to Get Started 189

Appendix 3 Where to Put All That Art 191

Appendix 4 A Word on the Creative Arts Therapies 193

References 197

Index 211

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