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30 Must-Read Books for Single Parents

Though one-third of all children in the United States are raised in a one-parent household, single parents are often left feeling alone. Feelings of frustration, loss of faith, and lack of control are also common amongst those raising children alone. Fortunately, there are dozens of books published each year on the topic of single parenting. Below, we’ve outlined 30 of the most helpful.

8 Weeks of Love: A Bible Study for Single Moms

Lois M. Breit

Christian single mothers who feel as if they are struggling with day-to-day encounters will benefit from Lois M. Breit’s 8 Weeks of Love. This Bible study written specifically for single mothers will help readers to reconnect with their faith and discover “a love that heals your past, protects your present, and prepares you for your future.”

365 Positive Strategies for Single Parenting

Susan Brown and Monica Simmons

Single parents in search of easy-to-implement how to’s would do well to pick up 365 Positive Strategies for Single Parenting. Authors Susan Brown and Monica Simmons have organized this helpful book into positive one-minute strategies for everything from maintaining the necessary balance between the needs of the child and one’s self, to how to deal with the absence or abandonment of the other parent. Not surprisingly, 365 Positive Strategies for Single Parenting is a favorite resource of parents, counselors, ministers, and others.

The Badass Single Mom’s Survival Guide: 21 Life Hacking Tips

H.M. Hudson

H.M. Hudson’s The Badass Single Mom’s Survival Guide is a thin little book that’s chock full of wisdom for a single mom. This must-read consists of 21 intelligent tips on such topics as:

  • surrounding oneself with a community
  • managing finances
  • dating as a single mom
  • teaching children to cook.

But Dad!: A Survival Guide for Single Fathers of Tween and Teen Daughters

Gretchen Gross and Patricia Livingston

Being a single father is hard, but being a single father to a tween or teen daughter is even harder. Fortunately, Gretchen Gross and Patricia Livingston have written But Dad!. This self-proclaimed survival guide is exactly that, covering topics ranging from sex talk, to dealing with emotional ups and downs, to what all should be kept stocked in the bathroom, and everything in between.

Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting: Five Strategies That End the Daily Battles and Get Kids to Listen the First Time

Noel Janis-Norton

One of the biggest challenges faced by single parents is discipline. Fortunately, there’s Noel Janis-Norton’s book Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting. Though this helpful book was not written specifically for single parents, it’s chock full of helpful tips and ideas. Janis-Norton, a behavioral specialist, outlines an easy-to-understand, step-by-step plan for helping parents to raise children who are cooperative and considerate, yet confident and self reliant.

A Complete Guide for Single Dads: Everything You Need to Know About Raising Healthy, Happy Children On Your Own

Craig Baird

If a man raising his children alone has any doubt whatsoever about what he is capable of as a single father, then he should read Craig Baird’s A Complete Guide for Single Dads. This must-read book is chock full of valuable information, including:

  • the basics of discipline
  • raising sons vs. raising daughters
  • handling chores
  • helping kids with school work
  • finding reliable childcare
  • having pets in the home

Each section is written in an easy-to-follow and inspiring way using knowledge gleaned from single dads and child psychology experts.

The Complete Single Father: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Situations

Elaine Fantle Shimberg and Michael Shimberg

The Complete Single Father is written by a single mother and her son, and is full of useful information. The sections are easy to reference and understand, and cover topics like how to make your house or apartment feel like a home, how to juggle a work schedule with your kids, how to deal with common child maladies, how to cook foods kids will actually eat, and how to celebrate holidays, among countless other helpful things. There are even anecdotes from more than 50 single fathers sprinkled throughout the book for more ideas and inspiration.

The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns

Andrea Engber

Like the title above, The Complete Single Mother is a handy reference guide for moms raising kids on their own. Among other things, the well-organized text includes sections on:

  • managing finances
  • fostering a child’s emotional health
  • dealing with custody issues
  • raising a child with special needs
  • dating as a single mother.

Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss

Jai Pausch

As a vital part of her late husband’s heartbreaking memoir The Last Lecture, Jai Pausch became a bit of a household name. Though grateful for the love shown to her brilliant husband, Pausch found the attention made her transition into widowhood and single motherhood all the more challenging. Whether male or female, single parents are sure to find Pausch’s Dream New Dreams inspiring and relatabl. She recounts her path to figuring out work, her kids, her household, and even her own identity as a single parent.

The Everything Guide to Personal Finance for Single Mothers: A Step-by-Step Plan for Achieving Financial Independence

Susan Reynolds and Robert Bexton, CFA

Ask any single mother about her greatest fear, and it’s likely she’ll respond with something along the lines of “money.” Thankfully, Susan Reynolds and CFA Robert Bexton have written The Everything Guide to Personal Finance for Single Mothers. This must-read text discusses everything a single mom needs to know about her financial situation, from the moment she becomes single to college and retirement in the future. Each chapter is jam-packed with valuable information carefully designed to give single mothers the tools they need to make smart financial decisions, climb out of debt, and even pass on knowledge of financial responsibility to their kids.

The Fabulous Life of a Single Mom: Practicality of Life’s Essentials While Single Parenting

Avilynn Bell

According to author Avilynn Bell, dwelling on the inherent challenges of single parenthood doesn’t do anyone any good — least of all single mothers themselves. In The Fabulous Life of a Single Mom Bell encourages readers to see the positives of their parental role, believe in themselves and all they hope to achieve, and raise their children as a confident woman and proud role model.

Fix It Jesus! For Single Moms Only: The Straightforward No-Nonsense Guide to Passion, Purpose, and Prayer

Sophia Reed, PhD

There are other Christian books on our list of the 30 best books for single parents. But this Straightforward No-Nonsense Guide to Passion, Purpose, and Prayer is unlike anything else. Dr. Sophia Reed, herself a single mother, has written a devotional of sorts for single moms to encourage them to find confidence and inner peace in the midst of what is often a challenging lifestyle.

God Loves Single Moms: Practical Help for Finding Confidence, Strength, and Hope

Teresa Whitehurst

Author Teresa Whitehurst is a successful psychologist who is also a single mother. In God Loves Single Moms, Whitehurst offers myriad tips, strategies, and how to’s for improving one’s ease of life and relationships with her children. Topics covered range from the deep and intimidating (discipline, self-esteem, self-care) to the practical (organization, building a support network, finances).

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The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson, who also manages the popular website Wealthy Single Mommy, is the author of this #1 bestseller. The Kickass Single Mom is a valuable compendium of personal accounts of women who are successfully raising a child alone. Even Johnson herself tells her story from heartbreak to victory, detailing every challenge she had to overcome to thrive financially, professionally, and as a mother.

Rattled! A Memoir

Christine Coppa

Christine Coppa thought she had her life all figured out. As a 20-something New Yorker, she was working her dream media job and even dating a cute (albeit all wrong) guy. But that all changed when she got a positive pregnancy test. In Rattled!, Coppa uses humor and blatant honesty to detail her journey from urban career woman to suburban single mom to her son. She discusses the many challenges, and the even bigger number of victories, she experienced along the way.

The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce

Tez Brooks

Men almost never plan on getting divorced and becoming a single father. But for those who find themselves in just such a reality, there’s The Single Dad Detour by Tez Brooks. Written from a Christian perspective (though deep theological discussions are absent), The Single Dad Detour is comprised of helpful, authentic, and down-to-earth wisdom about the various challenges faced by those on the rocky road of single fatherhood.

The Single Dad’s Guide to the Galaxy: Parenting in the Real World

Roger McEwan

Author Roger McEwan insists The Single Dad’s Guide to the Galaxy isn’t a self-help book. And yet, it’s enlightening and practical and rich with McEwan’s own hilarious reflections about raising two children on his own. With both wit and wisdom, McEwan offers fellow single fathers advice about everything from developing a relationship with their ex, to teaching kids to cook, to helping children choose matching clothes, and beyond.

The Single Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed as a One-Man Parenting Team

Michael A. Klumpp

Despite the growing number of single fathers, books aimed at men parenting alone are still few and far between. One must-read book for any single dad is Michael A. Klumpp’s The Single Dad’s Survival Guide. Klumpp, a pastor, uses his own experiences as a single father to discuss such topics as managing a schedule, creating a grocery list, and the importance of providing emotional support to children.

The Single Father: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting Without a Partner

Armin A. Brott

Author Armin A. Brott has written extensively about fatherhood for outlets ranging from Parenting magazine to The New York Times. In his book, The Single Father, Brott uses honesty and a wry sense of humor to discuss such topics as:

  • dealing with one’s emotions about being a single father
  • navigating child support and custody
  • nurturing one’s relationship with their child.

All are aimed at the single father.

Single Mom….Slaying It!: An Empowering Resource Guide to Expand Your Superpowers

Andrea Pearson

Single mothers are superheroes, and Andrea Pearson’s Single Mom….Slaying It! is the guidebook. A single mother herself, Pearson writes with honesty and friendliness to encourage single mothers through the day-to-day tasks of raising their children on their own.

Single Moms Raising Sons: Preparing Boys to Be Men When There’s No Man Around

Dana S. Chisholm

Its clever cover isn’t even the best thing about this book by Dana S. Chisholm. In Single Moms Raising Sons, Chisholm, a single mother of two boys, encourages other women tasked with raising boys to “partner with God — the Father of the fatherless.” She discusses a long list of major concerns for parents, including finances, passing on macho, and encouraging honesty.

The Single Mother’s Guide to Raising Remarkable Boys

Gina Panettieri

Gina Panettieri begins her book, The Single Mother’s Guide to Raising Remarkable Boys by acknowledging the unique challenges faced by single mothers of boys. Not only are such women mothers, they’re also coaches, chefs, housekeepers, teachers, cheerleaders, friends, and disciplinarians. Panettieri offers support for women taking on all of these roles and more, providing tips on how to help boys succeed in school, find an appropriate male role model, deal with peer pressure, and excel in sports, among other things.

Single Parenting Doesn’t Have to Be Hard: How to Raise Kids Alone Without Overwhelm, Anxiety, and Depression

Renee Millares

Though the stereotype is that single parents have it especially rough, author Renee Millares insists that “single parenting doesn’t have to be hard.” In this book, Millares focuses on a single strategy she and countless other single parents have adopted that has made their lives and their children’s lives free of anxiety, stress, and overwhelming depression.

Single Parenting in the 21st Century and Beyond: A Single Mother’s Guide to Rearing Sons Without Fathers

Dr. Josef A. Passley

Single mothers who find they may be struggling with either the idea or practice of raising their sons may find this book by Dr. Josef A Passley helpful. Written in simple, easy-to-understand language, Single Parenting in the 21st Century and Beyond offers both the “why” and the “how,” the latter of which is presented in clear steps. Topics covered vary, and include, among other things,  issues relating to:

  • co-parenting
  • finding proper male role models
  • discipline.

Single Parenting That Works: Six Keys to Raising Happy, Healthy Children in a Single-Parent Home

Dr. Kevin Leman

Having written a number of books on the subject, Dr. Kevin Leman is a well-known Christian parenting expert. In Single Parenting That Works, Dr. Leman uses honest and no-nonsense, yet hopeful, language to show single parents how they can achieve raising children who are:

  • happy
  • healthy
  • well adjusted

Topics covered include helping children develop their self esteem, building mature relationships with ex partners, and dealing with discipline, among other things.

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men

Meg Meeker

Single mothers of boys often wonder how they will be able to raise responsible men without a father. In Strong Mothers, Strong Sons pediatrician (and mother of four!) Meg Meeker describes the unique challenges boys face in today’s society. She uses common sense language to encourage mothers in the best strategies for helping their sons to navigate those challenges. Among the many topics Meeker discusses are:

  • the need for mother’s to display boldness and confidence
  • the mother as a role model for healthy love
  • the natural traps mothers of boys often fall into
  • and strategies for tough moments.

The Successful Single Mom: Get Your Life Back and Your Game On!

Honoree Corder

Honoree Corder’s The Successful Single Mom is actually an entire series dedicated to guiding and encouraging single mothers. Many other books on our list focus directly on raising of children. This book emphasizes the overall health and well-being of the mother so that she can parent to the very best of her abilities. Corder is a coach, and offers readers valuable advice on such topics as:

  • building or rebuilding a professional life
  • developing a support system and community
  • improving one’s attitude
  • being a positive role model to one’s child.

Successful Single Parenting

Gary Richmond

Trying to focus on everything for which they’re responsible — kids, finances, work — can be extremely challenging for a single parent. Something has to give. In Successful Single Parenting, Gary Richmond draws on Biblical wisdom and his own experiences to present to readers a thorough guide to successful single parenting. Topics covered include:

  • navigating the world of visitation rights and child support
  • co-parenting with an ex
  • organizing finances
  • balancing the needs of both parent and child.