Tulpas That Want to Act Like and/or See Themselves as Children?

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For a long time, I have been fascinated by one of my headmates, Duck. He has a few interesting quirks and he insists that he sees himself as a young child- and last night he confirmed he saw himself as a 5 year old. My headmates all notice his behavior is different from the norm- he insists on using as few words as possible, he likes to use smaller words (or more complex ones if they are more efficient at getting the message across), and he easily gets overwhelmed. However, after mentioning this to my therapist and talking about it, I can rule out the possibility he has the cognitive limitations of a 5 year old. Even though it shouldn't be surprising he can understand complex concepts as a capable adult, I wanted to rule out the possibility he couldn't just in case.

Ranger and I were worried it was a mindset thing and it was our fault for expecting him to be a child. When he was created, we assumed he was another representation of our subconscious mind and we thought of Duck as a mix of both of us. ...I guess that turned into us being his parents and it stuck... Ever since, we told Duck he was more than welcome to walk away from that and he adamantly refused each time, and to the point he told us to stop worrying about it because our anxiety over it was frustrating for him.

I wonder if later on he will decide to "grow up" like some other child-like tulpas. So far, the only change was a long time ago and he changed his former adult form to match his ideal child identity. However, I still feel like it's too early to call if Duck will soon deviate and mature his ideal age because he has received far less time than the average 1 and 1/2 year old tulpa and may simply be behind on some development milestones.

[Duck] I tried to "grow up" in wonderland. It felt wrong, so I turned back into myself. I'm happy as myself.

Duck isn't the only one in our system who sees themselves as younger. Fish, Jasper, and Evergreen also see themselves as children, but not as young as Duck. All three of them seemed to embrace being children because there's an association made between being social and being a kid. Aside from Fish and Jasper's use of more causal language and shameless silliness, Evergreen doesn't have any obvious quirks except that he currently sees himself as a tween rather than an 8-11 yr old like Fish and Jasper. Like Duck, all three of them have experimented at some point with viewing themselves as adults, but all three of them seem to prefer a younger form.

As for the social aspect, Ranger, Blue, and Exabier are more outgoing but all three of them see themselves as adults. While Duck is somewhat social, he can be fairly reserved at times. Unfortunately, having a social and outgoing personality is only a piece of the puzzle and not the core explanation for why my headmates feel more comfortable seeing themselves as children.


I would like to discuss the following:

  • Do you have any tulpas who identify or used to identify as children while the body's age is older? How do/did they feel about being a child vs. matching the body's age? If your tulpas identify as children and never "grew up", how old are they and roughly how much time did they get on average?
  • Any ideas or theories for why a tulpa would feel the need and/or desire to be younger?
  • Do you think this healthy for tulpas or this is a red flag of some kind?


While this is not the same thing as littles or age sliding from traumatic systems and Duck or any of my other headmates should not be thought of as littles, please feel free to share any possible connections if you're comfortable doing so (or any elaborations for why these two topics are not one in the same).

I also found these threads that seemed somewhat related-

Edited by Cat_ShadowGriffin

Pretty much my main wonderland form minus the cat parts, that's a separate form. I'm not a hippo, I promise.

I sometimes speak in pink and Ranger sometimes speaks in blue (if it's unmarked and colored assume it's Ranger). He loves to chat.


My other Tulpas have their own account now.

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Hi Cat Shadow Griffin.   my tulpa, Flora, is ageless, but has, with my encouragement, chosen to work through the developmental stages of a human female. Her first appearance, over a year ago, was in a fully developed human female body and personality. As we got into the work necessary to bring her into full imposition, she balked and decided that she needed to know what human development was all about and began to tell her own stories and to explore her life as an independent entity. In this regard she is pushing herself to experience living in an adolescent body, with surging hormones and limited relational experience. I worry about her, as I worried about my own daughters as they went through the throes of maturation. But I am remind myself that they made it, and I made it, and she has all of the resources that I have after eighty years of life.   So I really don't worry all that much.

I suspect that Duck will choose his own path through the existence you have given him and will ask for what he needs. Trust and enjoy, is my advice to you. thanks for the interesting question. Dr. Bob

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