Trapped on Earth, chained within mortal flesh and exiled from Arcadia, changelings have adapted to a human world. Balancing a mortal life against a Kithain existence has a profound affect on a changeling's personality, but there are other factors as well. How a fae is perceived by her peers is strongly influenced by her age. As part of their price for living in this world, changelings age at the same rate as the mortals around them. There are legends of fae who have lived for centuries, but the world discourages such a blatant display of magical power. Youth is highly prized in Kithain society. With youth comes innocence, trust and belief in the magical.
The Kithain have very pronounced expectations on how age affects identity. The age at which one undergoes the Chrysalis strongly influences how a changeling is perceived. All Kithain are considered to belong to one of three categories, which are collectively referred to as seemings. The seeming reflects the changeling's chronological age, as well as her physical age in the mortal world; the fae self is instead reflected by the mien, which reflects both the character's kith and the character's physical age within the Dreaming.
- Childlings, who are generally between 3 and 13, and are much closer to the Dreaming, because of their innocent nature. Confronted with mortals who insist they know what's best for them - such as teachers and parents - childlings are forced to hide their faerie identities. If the pressures of the mundane world grow too great for them, they have no choice but to run away from home and seek out a freehold that will look after them. Childlings enjoy a certain degree of privilege in Kithain society. They're nurtured, taught, and encouraged. Inexperience, however, shuts them out from many adult activities.
- Wilders, who are generally between 13 and 25, and are the most numerous of the Changelings. Their perspective on creativity becomes more acute than that of childlings, and the Glamour of music, movies, or anything on the cutting edge draws them like moths to a chimerical flame. When the fires of creativity consume them, they fully realize what it is to be alive. That flame can sometimes be a little too compelling. Burnout is a wilder's greatest fear. After all, growing old brings with it Banality and eventually the Undoing.
- Grumps, sometimes called Grey-beards, who are often older than 30 and are highly affected by Banality. They are often cynic and bitter, as Banality destroys their idealism of youth and they have to struggle to maintain their fae natures. Greybeards see themselves as the most reliable and responsible of the Kithain. They often assume the duty of caring for childlings, as wilders think they have more important things to do. They are also keepers of tradition and lore, and they are eager to pass on this knowledge to the young.
- CtD. Changeling: The Dreaming Second Edition, pp. 85-87.