Parenting Books For Single Moms

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Lori Pace

Being a single mom is a difficult task, and it’s difficult to keep on going with the flow. If you’re planning to buy or read parenting books, it would be best to read the best ones to keep your time and money at bay.

The best parenting books should help us feel better in a complex, hard-truthful way. Although we can’t control everything (as our children), at least we’re not alone. We want our children to have a different childhood from ours (something better). This is a trap that you can’t avoid.

The best parenting books can be better than our intentions. They are both encouraging and challenging and remind us that in order to be a good parent, we must first be present, forgiving, kind, and patient with our children. It’s harder than you might think. These parenting books are among the most acclaimed.

Top Parenting Books For Single Moms

The Whole-Brain Child

Daniel J. Siegel And Tina Payne Bryson

This book is for the skeptical parent who doesn’t want to be influenced by anecdotes. The book follows a similar approach to acceptance, but uses basic neuroscience to support it. Knowing which parts of the brain activate mid-tantrum might change how you confront one, for instance. 

When Partners Become Parents

Carolyn Pape Cowan And Philip A. Cowan

Senior cites this ten-year longitudinal study on the effects of parenthood and romantic partnership throughout her book. The book captures the changes and ups, mostly downs, of relationships during the crisis that is new parenthood in a way few books have since 1992.

‘How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk’

Adele Faber And Elaine Mazlish

The book is structured around a weekly support group. Each chapter covers a week from the authors’ parenting workshop. This is a voyeuristically-readable look at a group of 80s adults discussing their feelings, their battles with their children and their frustrations. All this with no hand-wringing over The Dangers of The Internet. It was delicious.

“Helping Children With Their Feelings” is the first chapter. This made me confident that my boomer parents weren’t among the 3,000,000 who bought this book. The next chapters are “Alternatives to Punishment”, “Engaging Cooperation,” or “Encouraging Autonomy”. It is very clear.

‘Your Two-Year-Old’ Parenting Books

Louise Bates Ames & Frances L. Ilg

‘Your Two-Year-Old’ Parenting Books

This book is part of a series that includes the best books on child development. These books are all very small, with 150 pages, of which a third are black-and white photo illustrations of children in the 1970s. They follow the same basic formula: Here’s what you have to deal with, here’s how it tends to work. It will only get better. They are my favorite thing.

These books can be read with a glass of wine after bedtime to remind you that your child isn’t a monster. Enjoy the little details of your child at this age. Let’s laugh at the advice that the authors have for stubborn 3.5 year-olds: Send them to preschool. They’ll be more cooperative with people other than their parents.

Becoming Attached

Robert Karen

Becoming Attached

This fascinating, if sometimes slow-moving book explores the history and current state of attachment theory. It raises questions such as: How did my parents ruin my future relationships? 

‘All Joy And No Fun’

Jennifer Senior

This book will answer every question you have about being a parent. Senior convinced me that this is a leading question. Senior, a former New York staff writer, guides us through modern parenthood in a way that inspires either self-forgiveness (or maddening passion under one’s ans), with a voice that is both insightful, relatable and genuine searching.

It’s also a great book to text to your friends, especially mom friends who are tired and behind on their work but still up too late to finish the dishes. “Our expectations of mothers have increased as we have become more liberal in our attitudes towards women at work.”

‘Simplicity Parenting’ Books

Kim John Payne

This book is a classic parenting troll. You’ll need to be prepared for it. It is best to read it in a state of emotional strength, or when you are thinking, “Okay. Things will get easier soon.” I feel like I can finally catch a breath. “Is there any man who can Kondo my family’s life?” (The author’s name is Kim. I felt betrayed when he realized that he was an Australian man, not a Scandinavian woman who had been sent to spread the gospel of natural wood toys.

Simplicity Parenting, in this sense, is a late-capitalist “solution” to the problems presented by All Joy and No Fun. Senior and Payne seem to agree that we are too stressed, busy, too focused upon achievement, and not enough about well-being. Payne seems to take these issues as a given and offers practical solutions in his book. Although one could argue for more effective antidotes (paid family leave and universal health care), there are also short-term actions that you can take yourself, such as baking a Sunday cake or starting an after-dinner walk.

‘No Bad Kids’

Janet Lansbury

‘No Bad Kids’

Lansbury, a former actress and model, has taught parenting classes in Hollywood over the past decades. She is also a prolific writer, podcaster, and general toddler consigliere. We refer to her simply as “the Guru” among our mom friends. I don’t know if that’s a joke or not.

Her books, which are self-published compilations of some her best blog posts, were quickly responded to by Michael L. when I requested a review copy. He introduced himself as Janet’s husband, and Mailroom Supervisor. Lansbury’s “philosophy” or general approach is to treat children with respect.

I don’t normally like “schools” for parenting, or any overarching approach to children’s issues. But Janet is an exception.

(1) Shame might be a dominant emotion in my life. If there’s one thing I would like to spare my son, it’s shame.

(2) Lansbury has a refreshingly reasonable resistance to dogma. She wants to see our children grow into their truest selves, without causing us to lose our nerves.

Janet is most beloved by me because of that last part. Without it, many of the things she advocates would seem absurd or foolish. It doesn’t take much to tell your toddler to stop punching you in the face. You need to be able to recognize your limits before you allow your child to cross them.

The argument in the “No Bad Kids” book

She argues that they are children and want to know you are in control. According to the guru, a parent should display the calm, unruffled bearing of a CEO.

Is it possible to become a CEO-mom without having weird consequences? It could be, but it is a useful image that you can refer to when you feel down or have a difficult week. A parenting mentor who is more interested in the process than in the product is valuable. Unruffled, proud, self-confident. I don’t know if she is referring to us or the children. It’s nice that both are considered. 

NurtureShock Parenting Books

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

This book contains the best collection of counterintuitive parenting-trend articles in magazine format. Its marketing copy claims that NurtureShock explains why our instincts about children are so wrong. The book, which includes chapters about children needing more sleep, being praised excessively, and being labeled gifted too soon, seems to suggest that it is our misplaced anxiety that causes problems. 

The book’s ideas — children are contradictory and complex, cannot be hacked, and should be allowed to develop on their own time — make for a less-than-straightforward read. The fact that the authors were able to create such a successful commercial book (even though it has an aggressive title) is testament to their skill and sincerity.

The Gardener And The Carpenter

Alison Gopnik

This book explores the “new science of child development” as well as what it means for the parent-child relationship. She begins by criticizing the way we talk about raising kids. Our language should reflect the way a gardener would talk about children, such as tending to and caring after a garden. Gardeners are open to the unexpected and don’t believe they can control their plants. She is open to being surprised. She is adamant that plants can grow by themselves.

With the calm detachment of someone who could only have grown children, Gopnik explains that children are meant to be chaotic chaos agents. Children are designed to explore and play, and they do it well. No matter how many parenting books you read, they will always succeed. This is a great idea and a welcome correction. However, I can see it taking becoming a grandmother before they fully live.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!