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So I've been a Caretaker for a good long while. I work a full time job, along with doing both drawing and writing commisions on the side; so I'm not always available, especially while I'm writing(i focus pretty hard) or at work. I tell all of my Littles this, and that's the first thing they need to agree to before we start anything. Most of my Littles have either been decently low maintenance, able to maintain/entertain themselves while I'm busy, or old enough in little space to understand that Big Brother/Daddy/Renny (Or whatever nickname they have for me) is busy and that they need to be patient and wait for me to finish what I'm doing.
The little I'm currently caring for goes from between about 1-3, all the way up to around 10. When they're in the older range they seem to be alright when I'm busy. But when they're in that 1-3 range it's a whole separate issue.
My Littles in the past would usually let me know they're slipping, even if they know I'm busy just so I'm informed, and would usually put on some approved shows or color or what not until I'm able to get back to them. My current little however, seems to either get extremely upset for "leaving them alone" or in their own head about being little alone. My messages will be full of them whining and crying for my attention out of the blue, despite my telling them I'm busy and I'm going to need a moment before I can get to them. I won't know they've started slipping until they're all the way into the depths of it and they're crying at me because I'm "ignoring" them. I love them to bits and would never purposely ignore them, but I can't be on my phone 24/7 especially when I'm working. And when I do manage to get to them, they start talking about not wanting to slip alone anymore because it "never works out" and how bad it feels.
I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. If theyre anywhere outside of that 1-3 range and theyre alone they're perfectly fine; even when theyre in that 1-3 range, if I can pay attention to them they're an absolute angel. But no matter what I suggest to try and keep themself entertained, nothing seems to work in that younger range if I can't give them my full attention.
Has anyone dealt with something similar or have any advice on what I should do? I want to be able to help them self sooth, but I'm running out of things to try.
Listen, I’ve been a Caregiver for about 20 years at this point. It sounds like you’re really going through some rough stuff and might even be confused at what’s happening with your Little since she’s behaving differently than other Littles you know. I’m sorry about that, I bet it’s really stressful for you :(

I want you to know with confidence that being a Little actively “in littlespace” or regressed does not transform the person mentally to being a child again. It doesn’t. It really, truly doesn’t. That’s a storyline or fantasy that, for whatever reason, the community perpetuates. It can be a fun fantasy to have or even a bit of an exciting RP to carry out but it’s only that and not something that’s really happening. Littles don’t forget manners, much less anything else they’ve ever learned. They’re adults just like you’re an adult. That’s the real, honest truth.

FEELING like a child is not BEING or becoming a child. ACTING like a child does not make a person a child. You cannot turn back time. You cannot just temporarily erase your memories. No ultra special, beyond human magic is happening here.

Also, regardless of how regressed she feels, she is and always has been safe. Again, she does not forget skills or information she’s learned in her life. She just plays into intentionally ignoring some of these things. If a house fire broke out and she was regressed to infancy I bet every penny to my name she’d figure out how to unlock a door and get to safety. She is a human too. Being a Little isn’t a different species. She isn’t exempt from her own humanity because she feels cutesy and childish and leans into those feelings sometimes.

I’m so sorry to have to say this but she’s really just being disrespectful and disregarding your real life obligations. She’s taking advantage of you, emotionally. It’s time to have a heart to heart and set your boundary: if she’s going to continue to guilt you for living your normal life then you will not be able to continue the relationship/connection. Her behavior is abusive, manipulative, disrespectful, and degrading to you as a person. She knows exactly what she is doing to you. She’s treating you like you’re only really good for making her feel loved/cherished/prioritized and that you’re otherwise nothing, living an unimportant life doing unimportant things outside of her “needs”.

Seriously, this is abuse. I’m so sorry. This is what abuse looks like in this community. This is one of the common ways a Little abuses Caregivers. Littles abuse Caregivers a lot, unfortunately, and many learn guilting and gaslighting techniques to get away with it.

She is NOT a child.

She does NOT become a child.

You know, if you think about it for a minute, even the parents of actual, real children don’t tolerate tantrums to the point of jeopardizing their careers. What is she really doing here, right? This isn’t how children actually behave. This is how she thinks children behave.

If she firmly claims she does mentally transform then she is NOT a Little. She has a rare mental health condition that requires licensed professionals. You would never be able to actually help her with that real condition. Pretending she is actually a child and that you’re her parent does not help the people with that condition. If you care about her then send her to licensed professionals for the real help she actually does need. Sometimes loving someone means making really hard choices for their betterment, even when it hurts us to have to make that choice.

Realistically though, you and I both know she’s probably not really suffering from the rare mental health condition and she’s just really caught up in the excitement of feeling so cherished by you. She just needs to respect you just as you do her. If she refuses then there is seriously no reason to keep her in your life, you deserve to feel special too.
This is some serious emotional manipulation.

They don't want to regress without you around? Okay, they can stay big until you have free time.

Saying "it never works out I don't want to do it anymore" is them just trying to guilt-trip you. They want you to feel so bad about not being there when they wanted you that you drop everything immediately next time.

This is red flag upon red flag. I'm sure they have many lovely qualities, but this is something you cannot fix. They are an adult who needs to understand that you, also, are an adult, with a life outside of them. Y'all need to have a serious talk once they've calmed down.
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