Step 1 Admit powerlessness over your ability to protect you children from pain and become willing to surrender to your love and not your control.
Step 2 Find hope in the belief that recovery is possible through faith and an acceptance of the fact that we are never really alone.
Step 3 Reach out for help and acknowledge that you are not alone.
Step 4 Take stock of yourself as a parent.
Step 5 Learn to share your parenting issues with others without self-recrimination.
Step 6 Become ready to change by giving up the demand to be perfect.
Step 7 Make conscious changes in your parenting by identifying specific strategies for healthy parenting.
Step 8 Take responsibility for the effect your parenting has had on your children and learn self-forgiveness.
Step 9 Make amends to your children through healthy parenting without over-compensating.
Step 10 Model being honest with yourself and your children and create acceptance in your family for imperfection.
Step 11 Learn to accept your limits in life and fine your true spiritual path while allowing your children theirs.
Step 12 Reach out to other parents in the spirit of giving and community.

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A Reinterpretation of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
from the Breaking the Cycle of Addiction (1987)

By Patricia O’Gorman Ph.D., and Phil Diaz, M.S.W.