Smart Love Family Services offers parenting programs based on the Smart Love™ theory, a deep understanding of a child’s mind at birth and how it develops through childhood. This theory offers parents an alternative between hard discipline and soft permissiveness to guide their children’s behavior without depriving them of warmth and understanding. To “Smart Love” is to cultivate children’s inner happiness while managing their behavior in age-appropriate ways, which ensures that children grow up happy, responsible, self-confident and able to reach their full potentials.



The Smart Love approach to parenting was developed by Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D., and William J. Pieper, M.D., and is described in their book, "Smart Love: The Compassionate Alternative to Discipline that Will Make You a Better Parent and Your Child a Better Person." Their most important finding is that children have a natural desire to copy the care they receive from their parents and will seek out relationships and experiences that make them feel the same way throughout their life. Because children learn to treat themselves and others as they are treated, Smart Love guidelines for managing behavior and nurturing children are always compassionate and kind rather than negative and authoritarian.


The authors are longtime experts in child and family psychology. Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper is a psychotherapist who works with both children and adults, and Dr. William J. Pieper was a child psychologist and psychoanalyst. Together, they raised five children while professionally researching the roots and keys to children's inner happiness.

Smart Love helps parents focus on meeting the long-term goal of parenting: to raise children to become happy, secure and successful adults who make healthy choices on their own.

Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center

2222 N. Kedzie Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60647

Oak Park Location

1010 Lake Street, Suite 500

Oak Park, IL 60301

Preschool: 773.665.8052 ext. 1

Counseling: 773.665.8052 ext. 4

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