July 13, 2008,
J.M. asks from Elizabeth, CO on July 10, 2008
Need Help Convincing Daughter to Wear a Bra
Okay Ladies, How do you get your 12 y/o daugher to wear a bra? My daughter is developing rapidly and needs to wear a bra but flat refuses. In fact, she claims that she will never wear one. I mention to her that she needs one because she is showing through her clothes, and that the boys will be able to see them. She is very strong willed and won't do anything unless she wants to. I've even told her that if she doesn't wear one, they will hang down to her bellybutton when she is older. I've pointed out women who either aren't wearing bras and should be or aren't wearing one with proper support. It has all been wasted effort on my part. She will be starting Middle School next month so I'm hoping peer pressure will play a roll in this, but she doesn't really seem to bend to peer pressure. I've tried getting her to wear undershirts, sports bras, tanks etc. I've offered to let her pick out her own bras, anything to get her in one. She says that they are hot and uncomfortable and she won't wear one. Any and all suggestions that you may have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance and God bless.
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much everyone that responded. I convinced my daughter that she needed to at least wear a tank with a built in bra. We went shopping and she picked out enough to wear everyday for school. While we were shopping the other day, her daddy convinced her to at least get some sports bras to have on hand. He told her that her teachers might tell her that she couldn't come to school unless she was wearing one and that we weren't making a special trip to the city to purchase bras,(we live 25 miles away from the closest store). She relented and picked out some colorful sports bras...still hasn't worn them yet, but has been wearing the tanks. I'm hoping that we have cleared this hurdle...she is my difficult child. If it is pink, she will argue that it's purple. Almost everything has been a battle with her. I really dread the teen years!
Thank you again and God Bless you for offering your advice, concerns and empathy. J.
H.W. answers from Colorado Springs on July 11, 2008
Try a different approach...
ruined muscles, sagging breasts at 20 and stretched neck muscles leading to back problems.
But let's be honest...they are hot and uncomfortable!
K.G. answers from Denver on July 11, 2008
You don't have to argue with her, the middle school will send her home if she doesn't have one. The dress code says they can't wear crop tops, see through shirts, etc. Ask one of the office ladies about going braless while you are registering her-let them set her straight.
L.B. answers from Pocatello on July 11, 2008
I think telling her that boys will see her breasts is a little over the top. Maybe they will, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's something to be ashamed of. I would leave the decision up to her. Talk to her, ask her if it's a comfort issue and if so, assure her that you guys will look for something that is comfortable. If it's a shame issue, ask her why she finds bras embarrassing and assure her that her body is nothing to be ashamed of and that it's beautiful, and that the bra will help her with support issues and later maybe even prevent back pain, etc. If she still refuses, tell her that's her choice and that while you support her, be aware that some people might be antagonistic about that and so she needs to have a response ready for negative reactions.
2 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Denver on July 11, 2008
Everyone gave good advice... another suggestion is to sit her down and explain to her, like others said, that it simply isn't appropriate in this society for women to reveal that part of themselves, and it is because of the type of people out there, not her... and then give her the option to go bra-less if she wears shirts that aren't revealing (less form fitting, thicker material, patterned, etc), but should she choose to wear cotton tank tops or t's that are more form fitted she needs to wear a bra, and that's just the way it is, but the decision is still hers... do it over coffee at the mall or something and take her into a store to pick out some bras 'just to have on hand' should she choose to wear more revealing shirts, also, saying it more in the tone of 'honey you're turning into a woman now and you know your body better than I do, you know what you would like best' and kind of turn her loose... maybe sneak off and ask a sales associate to check on her...
I know they're kind of expensive, but I'd suggest taking her into a place like Gap body where it's a rather unintimidating invironment, then you could hang out on the clothes side while she does her shopping, and try to stay positive about what she picks out, it's worth it to get her excited about this new stage of her life... which bless her heart, she should be! Best of luck to you, and remember this too shall pass!
2 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Grand Junction on July 11, 2008
I would suggest someone that she feels is "hip" - like a relative closer to her age or something sitting down and having a talk with her. When you speak at this age.....they just hear noise.....so I would advise having someone that she looks up to - that is not a parent - just sit her down and have a casual talk with her about it. I am 11 years younger than my sister and therefore my niece is only 12 years younger than myself. Whenever my sister was having a hard time getting anything through to her, she would have me take her out and have virtually the same talk with her. She would almost always HEAR me - while my sister would talk until she was blue in the face and all she would hear was blah blah blah blah blah! Unfortunately when our kids turn into teenagers we become very stupid and we have absolutely no clue about anything in the universe!! ;) AND if that doesn't work - maybe the sheer pressure/imbarassment from her friends may convince her otherwise. Good luck!!
1 mom found this helpful
S.M. answers from Casper on July 11, 2008
I guess you've got to have a stronger will than she does. You can't physically make her, but there's got to be something you can hold out on so that she realizes how important this is. My first thought would be that she ought not to be leaving the house looking like she has just been (or is about to be) ravished. If she won't wear a bra, don't let her leave the house. It's not safe for her to be dressed like that. She needs to realize that people are looking at her, some with judgment, some with lust, and some that would just rather not see that and feel sorry for her. Especially at school where girls can be so mean, why draw attention by not being properly covered. Her breasts are special, certainly, and therefore they are not for everyone to see.
I am planning to homeschool my children anyway, so I'm in a completely different boat, but that could be an option, if she is really as stubborn as you say.
In some cultures they celebrate a girl becoming a woman with a big party. I think too much in the US it is treated like any other medical event - we simply hand out a few tools to deal with the consequences, rather than focusing on what it all means. It is an amazing thing to be a woman, to have the power to bring life to this planet. That is something to be celebrated and shared with the world. At the same time, the changes in our bodies are a sacred and private affair. We don't show our breasts because there are those who would ridicule and depreciate the special function they have. It is incredible that we live in a society where such beautiful things are made fun of so often. Still that is the reality of the situation. There is a scripture in the bible that says "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again, and rend you."
I think you would be a great mom to go through that scripture with your daughter and teach her what it means, and ask her if she can not endure wearing a bra to protect her own dignity.
1 mom found this helpful
M.P. answers from Boise on July 11, 2008
I don't know that I'm really going to give you the advice you want, but more likely a different way to look at it. All of the points you've brought up to your daughter about wearing a bra seem to stem from how you perceive women who don't wear bras and what society has said is okay. As far as telling her "boys will be able to see them," well, yeah, she's a girl and girls have breasts. By making it an issue that she should be covering herself with a bra, you're making it sound like she should be ashamed of having breasts. If she's not comfortable in a bra, why the huge push to make her wear one? Let her decide in her own time if she thinks she needs one. Maybe peer pressure will kick in at some point, but if it doesn't, there's no physical damage that will be done to her by not wearing a bra. She may only be 12, but since this isn't something that is detrimental to her health, I'd say relax and don't make her feel uptight about her body. And if you're wondering, no, I don't wear a bra any more than I have to (work, certain clothing). I also think they're uncomfortable and I don't like them. I'm not willing to wear one all the time just to make others more comfortable with their beliefs. And, yes, I have two teenage daughters. They both wear bras most of the time - but that's been their choice, not pressure from me. Hope things work out well for you and your daughter.
1 mom found this helpful
J.P. answers from Las Vegas on July 13, 2008
I am sorry to have to say this but bras are not a good idea. Let her make up her own mind in her own way. Just don't buy her clothes that are see through. I personally do not wear a bra. I haven't for many years. I'm not trying to be sexy or bad or anything like that. I am more comfortable without it. My breast do not sag as much as women who do wear them. My mother died of breast cancer, and after doing research on what may be a reason why women get it. It is suggested that bras could be the cause. If a woman's breasts are not allowed to move naturally, the lymph nodes cannot release toxins and toxins or cancer cells get trapped. Therefore cancer is started. I realize you are the mother. You can do your own research, but I've taught my grown daughters they have a choice. Fortunatly they make good healthy choices about their bodies.
K.C. answers from Salt Lake City on July 12, 2008
J.S. answers from Colorado Springs on July 11, 2008
I agree with Lori!
Buy some and put them in her drawer. When she wants to wear one than she will. Peer presure will get to her. You are making it worse...trust me! She is embarrased and will rebel like she is untill you stop. Just let her decide. Also, come on ladies, at 12 how big can she be? Her boobs are not going to sag because she is not wearing bra right now. If at 16 she is still not wearing a bra and she is not an A cup, then post another question, otherwise she is not in jepordy and will not have issues when she is older. Most of us have children and no matter what support you have been wearing your whole life, nothing helps at that point...they will sag... Good Luck!