Littles or lils is a colloquial expression used by many multiples to refer to young persons in their system. Descriptions or definitions vary. Some groups would say that littles refers only to pre-teens. Others will call anyone under the age of twenty a little.
Some groups dislike the term as patronising and prefer to say children, kids, young people, smalls or youngers. Regardless of what they're called, Littles are not children, per-se. Sometimes they are quite childish, but some of them are in charge of or participate in rather adult activities, such as intimate liaisons or balancing the checkbook. However, quite often they're not able to participate in such sophisticated activities and are limited to play, artwork, limited language, writing, and reading capabilities and a limited ability to cope with what is otherwise an adult body and life.
Because of internal communication between selves in a multiple group, it is possible for children in the system to access sophisticated adult knowledge. This has misled some professionals into believing that multiples all start out as intellectually gifted children.
If someone in a multiple system behaves like a child or tells you they are, believe them, and respect them as an individual of the age they say they are.
"In my system, there are two main "littles." One, Raven, is closer to the technical definition, since he identifies himself as a young (human) boy of 8 or 9 who found himself as part of the system after a traumatic death. He is generally quiet, and often acts even younger than the age he identifies as, with an intense fear of being alone. He sometimes demands bedtime stories from me. The other in our system that we think of as a little is Muchiko, called Kitsune or Kid by almost everyone, who is not human, instead being Otherkin, a kitsune, which is a Japanese fox-spirit. While her hyperactivity and questionable naivity often come off as very childish, she has stated her age to number in the centuries rather than in years." -Lucien of Ariel