Littles! We all love them. We all want to protect them. Singlets always want to meet them. So what are Littles?
Littles are child Alters, usually created at the same body age as the age they represent. Often they are trauma-holders, but not always. Sometimes they are innocent children, created to preserve that innocence and trauma-free childhood. They are usually under the age of 13. Littles are absolutely the age they represent in every single way; emotionally, mentally, developmentally and intellectually. Sometimes they can understand adult concepts, but more often than not, they can’t.
So what do you do if you suddenly find yourself talking to a Little? It might be hard to get your head around seeing a Little in an adult body, but here are some points to remember:
· Validate them. Always validate the Alters (yes, even the difficult ones!)
· Show them love and acceptance
· Treat the Little as the age they represent. How would you speak to an actual 4 year old, for example?
· Be prepared to play with them if at all possible. If you know your friend or loved one has D.I.D, have some toys available (but out of sight until needed!) for them to play with.
· Speak to them in terms they will understand, but don’t use baby-speech (gah gah goo goo etc. That’s just insulting)
If the Little is a Trauma-Holder, it’s important to remember they will be traumatised and reliving the bad experiences. Be patient and kind with them. Tell them it’s okay to talk about what happened and reassure them that they are safe now. Explain to them they are in a big body now and can protect themselves and that nothing bad will happen to them again. Reassurance, kindness and love go a long way to helping these Littles.
If the Little is an innocent, it’s important that you don’t discuss trauma with them. Preserving their innocence is vital. Let them play and be free to be the child they wanted to be at that age.
For those who have D.I.D, and are worried about their child Parts, don’t be. They are there for a reason, as with all Alters. Nurture them as you would yourself and allow them to front when it’s safe to do so. Have toys, books, colouring, DVDs etc on hand for them to play with and make sure they don’t have access to your credit cards!! Take it from me… they will quickly learn that they can use the cards to buy all the shiny toys!
Children are very precious, and child Alters are equally precious. Treat them with respect and love and look after them. Protect them. Don’t be overbearing or over-protective, but just be mindful of them and look out for them. If you’re in public when they front, maybe take them to a safe place and sit with them. Give them a drink or some sort of snack if appropriate and help them to feel safe.
For those with D.I.D; if a Little fronts when you are out and about, maybe have a Protector, Gatekeeper, Caregiver or some other Alter on hand to help them to get to a safe place until someone else Fronts. It’s unlikely that anyone will try to harm or kidnap a Little, simply because people will see an adult body, not a child. But even so, safety is the main priority, so always be mindful of where you are and who you are with.
I hope this has been helpful in understanding Littles a bit better. Until next time! Be safe.