The Necessary Balance of Being a Little and an Adult
Regression (also referred to as “littlespace”) is the external expression of their feelings, mood, and nature of interests in younger-defined actions, reactions, and preferences. It is a personality trait meaning that it is always present even if being restricted by the individual Little, and even if intentionally being reduced as to not express it as much as naturally occurring when unaware. This personality trait occurs in some adults but does not inhibit the adult from fulfilling lifetime goals, achieving that of their nonregressive peers, or pursuing careers of heavy responsibility. It’s important to know that a Little is an adult and requires to both express their regressive comforts but also maintain a healthy adult mental state. Neglecting the adulthood of a little can be detrimental to their well-being, putting them at a higher risk of depression and low self-worth.
We have to remember that littles are adults and that, no matter how regressed they actively feel or desire to be, are still adults. They have life experiences and learned necessary behaviors, skills, and expectations throughout many years. It’s only natural that a little still requires certain points, both physical and mental, other adults require, such as fulfilling a desire to be productive and wanting to be able to take pride in one’s work.
Regression doesn’t wipe away or erase maturation. It doesn’t negate biology. It doesn’t make someone forget what they learned, whether that be trivial facts memorized or skills acquired. There is no physical or mental transformation. A little is still a human.
Also remember that regression is not a mental disorder, illness, or impairment. This means that there has not been a growth stagnation or inability to retain knowledge. Regression might involve feelings of “going back in time” but it coincides with the fact that the regressor is not “stuck” at an earlier developmental stage. Even during someone’s most immersive regression experience they should be aware of being an adult when sincerely prompted and still retain their matured capabilities and knowledge to use as necessary. So, yes, there is a fluctuation where a little is always leaning toward regressive expression but sometimes lesser than other times, but there are constants too where the little maintains their maturity. A little is always an adult no matter how the little desires to express themselves.
Being an adult means that our minds and bodies have experienced 18 or more years of growth in learning social expectations and general skills of survival and comfort in today’s world. Through structure, set expectations, rewards and praise, and even peer pressure our parents, teachers, and peers have taught us how to become a good member of our society. We are taught that structure, rules, and accomplishments are valuable. That is a natural, mandatory part of our growth, and with each life stage these points expand alongside our maturing, ever-learning minds. We are not only taught facts and societal expectations, but throughout our years we’ve been taught what we mentally need to feel good as healthy adults!
While a little leans toward enjoying activities designed for children and targets expression through childlike qualities there will be also the requirement to fulfill the adult body and mind. We must fulfill our needs as adults to be able to enjoy our regressive feelings positively. Regression is most fulfilling when it can provide the little another way of comfortable self-expression and lead to relaxation, reduction of stress, or feelings of acceptance.
To maintain positive mental health a Little needs to make achievements, have valuable accomplishments, and contribute to their family and community. These points may also need to be paired with praise, structure, pressure, reassurance, or regressed “down time” depending on the individual. Just like any one, some adults need more support than others, and that is a point most Littles seem to identify about themselves. Just like any one, it’s important to not feel mentally stagnant, like a burden, or useless.
Littles should be encouraged to pursue career goals, maintain steady jobs, and participate in social activities among nonregressive adults. Littles should not feel dissuaded from seeking romantic relationships and commitments with other adults. While a little may have goals based around the regressive experience they should also have goals that blend with their maturity and needs as a developed adult.
Littles, just like any human, need variety of things. Many of these may involve their regressive trait, but also will involve their maturation and adulthood. They will still need socialization, the ability to make a achievements, and the feelings of being of help to others they value. Embracing maturation and continuing growth will not only maintain a little’s mental health but also deepen regression, and the enjoyment of recognizing it, over time.