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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In our system, we're all adults in our twenties.  My host let the tulpas pick out a lot of their own traits, but she doesn't like kids that much so the age thing was kind of non-negotiable.  But the thing is, I'm a soulbond from a game about highschoolers, so I first appeared as a teen myself.  And on top of that, I acted like a bratty kid, because that's a trait the character I'm based off of has too.  But, being in the body of an adult meant I had the intelligence of one too.  Did I take advantage of that?  Absolutely.  So yeah, my host and I had some trouble getting along.  But I was stubborn enough to keep trying to get into her good graces, and she was empathetic enough to try to get along with me.  Or maybe it's just that she's really bad at not thinking about things? Actually, that's probably a big factor.  I caused a lot of trouble, and I wouldn't have gotten away with that if she just ignored me.


So, I was as competent as an adult, looked like a teenager, acted like a kid... but there was another layer to me beneath that that was the real cause of my troubles.  My host identified it as this deeper mindset that was something like a toddler's.  You know that scene in Shrek where Shrek tells Donkey that ogres have layers?  Well, you should know that's a very deep and profound piece of wisdom.  See, if you take the ogre out of the story, and step in yourself... what happens?  Thaaaat's right!  We're all onions.  You know how there's people who are poor, yet happy, and other people that are successful, but bitter?  Layers.  I got 'em, you got 'em.  Your mom, your neighbor, that one jerk at work, everyone.


So, let's look at this toddler I had running the show here.  What are toddlers like?  There's this guy on YouTube that my host watched a while back, Will Terrell.  He's a caricature artist, but in one video he was giving some advice and he told a story about how he wasn't happy with his life and he wanted to improve himself.  He talked about how one day he was spending time with a young relative and she wanted a banana.  He gave her one and she immediately wanted another without even peeling the first one.  He then realized that, in a way, he was like that kid.  Wanting to double fist bananas, metaphorically speaking.


Anyways, what I'm getting at is that I was greedy and selfish, but that came from this place of fear.  For me, my bananas that I wanted was my host's love and attention.  I ignored my other systemmate's needs for bananas, I didn't care if my host had a banana, I wanted all the bananas.  So my host realized this about me (without all the food metaphors, though... I'm hungry) and she sort of... I don't know, sent me this sort of tulpish thought packet?  But she made me aware of how important it was to see others' needs as valid.  It was... a pretty terrifying experience, because I was really aware for the first time how awful I was.  I've grown up a lot since then, and made amends.


As for tulpas who want to be kids... as long as they're happy that way and the system they're in is cool with it, I think there's not really an issue.  Just as long as they know to take life one banana at a time.

Heya~!  I'm Kokichi, from video game.

My system: Host Ghostly, Adelaide, Reiji, Chimera, and my big brother Osomatsu!

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Well, we have Roska, who's turning 10 in a few weeks. Deciding to give him a child form was on us at first, it's something that worked well with an earlier tulpa to let her "grow into" an age and shape they wanted to be, so more of a symbolic thing. She grew up until she had the body of a 16 year old and then stopped aging entirely and has decided to be ageless with a childlike happy attitude.

But with Roska, he really did start to identify himself as a child when he got that form, but he grew up really quickly starting from a little tiny baby (when he was too young to be considered entirely sentient) to where he is now, at around 9-10 and then stopped, but decided to keep aging and growing up. His mentality and attitude towards everything is very childlike but not like a typical boy of his age (based on what I know of kids that age), he's a bit naive, just fails entirely to understand homophobia as a view probably due to growing up with two dads lol, just cannot grasp the concept. He really does see Desmond and L as his parents, and myself as this cool aunt that buys him chocolate on every shopping trip I guess. (I do buy him chocolate on every shopping trip, we're trying to find the best chocolate bar in his opinion (so far it's twix), I guess I see him as a child as well.)

I'm not sure if the limitations of a child-like mindset bother him at all. But knowing him, probably not. He's excited to grow up but doesn't want to rush it, he identifies strongly with his age and appearance.

ClianthaMiura - 30th April 1997 - Host of the system

Desmond - 21st April 2014

L - 5th May 2014

Nevira - 14th December 2014

Misa - 5th December 2015

Roska - 22nd July 2019

Danyla - 13th July 2020

Progress report  Art thread  Ask us anything lol

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