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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

For Parents

By BitterGrey

Sections: ABDL parents - ABDL children

Every now and then, I get email from parents. Sometimes it is an ABDL parent trying to decide what to tell his or her children. At other times, it is their son or daughter that has an infantilist. Either way, it is complicated.

Since I don't have children, there is a lot about parenting that I don't know. However, one thing is clear: Good communication is critical. This especially includes discussions about the birds and the bees (as well as the porcupines) in the proper time. (As you may know, porcupines urinate on eachother as part of the mating process.) Children will learn about sex and sexual diversity somewhere. By being the one that teaches them, the parent will have some control over how they learn and what mistakes they make while learning. This will also open a channel of communication for discussing other intimate topics, such as infantilism.

Beyond that, I can only direct parents to some other good resources on the internet, but are few that address infantilism and parenting. As a result, we need to borrow information for parents facing related topics, such as transvestism and sadomasochism.

For ABDL Parents

When the children are young, the parents need to decide a few things. (Afterward will be too late.) Decide when, or if, the children should be told about their parent's infantilism. This decision is a compromise. Young children won't understand the need for discretion. Older children will have more rigidly defined roles and may feel deceived.

Next, decide how visible infantilism will be in the house. Before the children have been told, infantilism will need to be treated stealthily. The parent's special clothing, pacifies, etc., must be kept securely hidden and locked away. Remember that it is almost always better to tell than to get discovered.

After the children know, relaxing this secrecy might be an option. However, things should still be kept discrete. This way, the children can have friends over without having to explain their parent's infantilism. Remember the children will be 'in the closet' now too, as they will now share the family secret.

In many cases, different items will have different visibilities. It may be OK to leave stuffed animals out, while the diapers are deeply hidden. If the parent is incontinent, deciding to be open about the incontinence but secretive about infantilism is practical. The diapers would be kept handy, but other baby items are secretly locked away.


Other Discussions

For Parents of Infantilists

If you are a parent and reading this, thank you for being open minded and working to understand. Many ABDL's hide their infantilism from their parents, for fear of what might happen. If your child has told you, it is because he or she trusts you and values your relationship. By discussing and researching infantilism, you show that his or her faith in you was justified. Thank you.

Most parents either never know about infantilism, or assume that doesn't affect them. In most cases, they are right. Regression, immaturity, and slow potty training are generally outgrown. These cases of childishness are different than paraphilic infantilismDEF which is not outgrown. In contrast, infantilists may seem to mature quickly. For example, I weaned myself. According to my mother, I "pushed away with both hands." As a child, I wouldn't watch Disney movies which were "too childish." (I have a large collection now.) According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the criteria for paraphilic infantilism are infantilistic acts or fantasies that are 1) distressing and 2) recur for more than six months.

Of course, many parents don't know until their ABDL child tells them. For the child, this takes a great deal of courage and trust. Please don't betray that trust. Being an infantilist is generally not voluntary; it isn't a choice. The only choice that the child would have made is to talk with the parent about it. The parent shouldn't yell, lecture, or judge. Otherwise, they will be punishing the child for his or her honesty.

Infantilism generally isn't anyone's fault. At this stage in the discussion, trying to guess the cause to the child's infantilism can do more harm than good. Except in extreme cases involving abuse, there is no reason to think that the parents had any influence over the development of infantilism. It may have been unforeseeable and unpreventable.

Please give your ABDL child open-minded support. Evaluate infantilism's acceptability together. Try to work out a solution and stay on the same side. The family can be functional and happy, and he or she can go on to lead a healthy and productive life, as long as you address this issue together.


Email BitterGrey[mail] Level: Beginner | Status: Draft | Last Update: 18 June 2005

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