The 12 Steps of ‘Copter Detox* 

  1. We admit that we are powerless over our urge to hover over our children* (or family, friends, coworkers, etc), with constant intervention and attention, making all of our lives unmanageable.
  2. We believe that strengths beyond our current awareness (or an outside influence) must be relied upon to restore us to sanity in parenting and helping our children (or in-law children, grandchildren, parents, friends, coworkers, etc.).
  3. We make a decision to turn to fellow recovering hoverers, and ‘CopterDetox, for help in permanently grounding our hovercraft.
  4. We make a searching and fearless inventory of the situations in which we are most likely to hover.
  5. We admit to our children, our friends, and our families, the nature of our hovering and ask them to help us avoid those situations.
  6. We are ready to accept the help they give.
  7. We humbly ask them to help us land our helicopter and toss the keys.
  8. We make a list of occasions when our hovering caused harm to our children (or parents, grandchildren, friends, co-workers) and others.
  9. We speak honestly with our family (or friends, co-workers) about our past flights, make amends, and ask for forgiveness.
  10. We continue to examine the ways in which we hover, and where we find shortcomings, we admit it.
  11. We appreciate our children (or grandchildren, in-law children, parents, friends, co-workers) for their unique gifts, which shine without our intervention.
  12. We carry forward the message of ‘CopterDetox and pledge to help other hovering addicts, so their loved ones, too, shall live free of the blade’s shadow.

Let us all begin at the beginning … My name is Becky B and I’m a helicopter parent.

* Adapted to parents who ‘copter over their children. Replace whoever you hover over in the above. If you are a micromanaging boss, consider your urges to hover over your employees. If you are an over helping grandparent, consider your urges to hover over your grandchildren. If you are an intruding daughter or son, consider your urges to hover over your parents’ lives. If you are an interfering friend, consider your urges to hover over your friendships.

Credit: The ‘CopterDetox 12-step program is an adaptation of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program, source Realistic Recovery.

Updated 2018.