42 answers

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.

What can I do next?

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.

Featured Answers

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!

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.

More Answers

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

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

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

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

Hi J.,

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

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.

When my niece refused, my sons gave her one for her birthday. She was embarrassed, but my boys told her it looked gross for girls to not wear bras.

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!

Take her to lunch and Victoria's Secret and have her properly fitted for a bra. I hate bras and are really uncomfortable but if you get a good one they are not as bad. They will cost a little more but she wil at least be a little more comfortable. Also, once she sees all the pictures of the models, maybe she will have a change of heart.
Try and get one without underwire.
C. B

I agree with Shannon P. that maybe her sister could help her. Do they have a good relationship? Do they go to the mall together? If so, then they could go shopping and the 14 year old could shop for bras for herself and encourage the 12 year old to try some on at the same time.

Like the other moms said, a teen will naturally be defensive toward mom, but may be more open to a sister or a grandma. My daughter bought her first bra with my mother-in-law (comfy sports bra) and now she's fine getting bras with any of us and loves picking out cute ones.

Good luck!

Sorry, I'll have to weigh in for your daughter....
She's 12! Let her be! If she's not ready for a bra, she's not ready for one. Just because you're excited for her to be ready doesn't mean she shares your excitement. She could be having some issues with becoming a woman and is more interested in being a tomboy or just being able to hang out with friends who happen to be guys. If she starts wearing a bra it signals she's accepting the changes in her body where more likely she's fighting them tooth and nail.

And to settle an urban myth, not wearing a bra doesn't make your breasts any more likely to hang down to your belly button. Age does.

have you sat down with her and aske dif there is a bigger problem? I know she says they are uncomfortable, but does she feel like she is growing up and does not want to, or is embarassed of bra shopping with you? If she keep insisting that it is just because it is hot and uncomfortable be honest with her and let her know you dont want her to get hurt. let her know It is a good thing she doe snot give into peer pressure, but you dont want her feelings to be hurt when people make fun of her or stare becsaue they can see her breasts. Be real with her and tell her a story of when you wre a kid and got really embarassed, and you dont wnat heer to feel like that. You could also make a compromise. She needs to wear the bar in public, but not in the house. I am small chested and have no need for a bra usually, but now that I am breastfeeding I need one on all the tim eincluding night time an dit drives me crazy so I feel her pain! I have been buying the updated version of a camesole. They se;ll them everywhere, they are sometimes in the sport clothes section. It is a skinny strap top and usually cotton or lycra, has a built in bra support. You can wear it as a shirt around the house, or put a tshirt over it. Good luck, let us know how it goes!

She could just be embarassed. How about baby steps. Buy her tank tops that have the bras in them. Then you could surprise her after a while by buying her a bra, wrapping it up and leaving it in her room to open privatley. Would your 14 year old be willing to talk to her? When I was that age I rarely listened or did what my parents wanted. If you don't make a big deal about it she may come around. Good luck.

Your daughter is right. Bras _are_ hot and uncomfortable!

She is only 12, and everyone she knows is probably in the same awkward stage. Just make the bras and undershirts available and wait for peer pressure to kick in. Harrassing her about wearing one might just make her uncomfortable and/or resentful of the hated bra!

I would guess that a few days in the middle school lockerroom will do the trick and you just need to stay out of it for awhile. Relax and pour yourself a cup of tea and save this story for a time when she's 17 and is begging money to go buy herself new bras.

Seriously just Stop talking about it.

Get a few bras and don't let her out of her room unless she's wearing one.

No yelling, no discussing, nothing. She just simply has to wear it the same way you'd deal with her walking out the house completely naked. You just wouldn't let it happen, so you just don't let the bra go unworn.

Give her the choice: I'm going to get you come bras, you can either come and help me pick them out or be stuck with what I get...you'll probably buy them yourself, but that's ok--it's a move in the direction of showing her there is no power struggle because YOU'RE the ONE with the power.

If you WANT to can give her the choice of putting the thing on by herself or with help...but you have to be utterly committed to actually have the physical wrestling match of getting that sucker on her, which would make for a great comedy sketch but may not be desirable to you.

Let her know that until she can show you that she's wearing it she can have a lovely day in her bedroom and that you could really use the peace of her in there--even if she is yelling and screaming--that you're good if she stays there all week (so if you could do me the favor and refuse to wear it for 3 or 4 days that'd be great)!!! She'll put it on when she see's that you're serious and that it's dead issue in the same way that asking if she could go shopping butt naked is...it just won't happen and to think otherwise is simply laughable.

No more talking. No more stories. No more requesting. The ONLY person allowed to REFUSE anything is YOU, and you're refusing to allow her to leave her room without a bra from THIS MOMENT ON! (anyway, that's how I do it)

:o) :o) :o) Lots and LOTS of Love to you Mommy!!!

Does your 14 yr old wear a bra yet?

I was just like your daughter. Only I was in the 4th grade and should have been wearing one! Despite the fact that even my friends were telling me that I needed to wear a bra I just wouldn't do it! For whatever reason I finally decided I would wear one in 5th grade. So I think you are probably just going to have to let her get to the point of wanting to wear it. Isn't it funny that so many little girls are in such a hurry to wear one but those of us that really should wear one fight it?!

it is not so the boys don't see it is for her to stay supported and healthy. she is right that they are a pain to wear but the key is to feel like you arn't wearing anything . there is a tube top kind of thing that is strapless and will still hold everything into place. i think that it is made of a similar material as pantyhose and i am sure that i have seen it sold at walmart.. maybw she might like those stick on cups.

I agree with the sports bra idea. I had the same thing with my daughter (now 15). She wore sports bras for quite a while (and still does quite often). They have so many cute ones (with tons of colors) and they are actually pretty comfortable. She doesn't really know about comfort anyway if she hasn't worn any bras before. I would guess that if she doesn't start out the school year wanting to wear one, she will start pretty quickly because many/most of the girls in her grade will be wearing one. Maybe you just take her to buy a couple and she can keep them in her drawer. Then just let the subject drop (really, when you're 12, the LAST thing you actually think about is having body issues when you are older or "sagging down" to your belly button). She will probably just start wearing them on her own (because then it will be HER idea, not yours). ;-) Hope this helps.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. She will come around when she's ready and I have a feeling it will happen when school is in session. Like the other ladies said, when she has to change in PE class, she will probably want one. But I don't think you should shame her into it or anything like that. I think a woman should be able to choose whether or not she wants to wear a bra. Some women wear them because they need the support, others wear them because of modesty. But I don't think people should wear them because they are told they have to or to be embarrassed about their bodies and feel like they have to cover everything. It's important for her to respect her body and be comfortable with it. There's too many people (read: women) in our country that hate themselves and what they look like. Honestly, there's some women that wear a bra and I sure can't tell the difference - nipples poking out all over the place. And that's just fine with me if it's fine with them.
I think the other ladies have it right in just providing some comfy bras for her and when she is ready to use them, she will.
I remember my first couple bras and they were absolutely AWFUL and I remember thinking there is no way I am going to bend to this social norm. Too uncomfortable! (I still refuse to wear heels or pantyhose).
But find some comfy bras and I am set! Sports bras. And not the cotton kind - that's what gets hot. You live in Colorado - outdoor gear is all over the place. Find a Title 9 store or get online and find some bras that are synthetic breathable. They have some cute tops with built-ins. Maybe Athleta, Patagonia? I don't know if money is an issue for you, but maybe spending a little extra on some nice comfortable ones will get her to wear them.
Personally, I wear underarmour sports bras. All the time. I absolutely hate the traditional bras - especially if there's underwire or any other torture kind of device in them. ;)

I don't have that great of advice since I was embarrassed to let my breasts be seen through my clothes, but perhaps you could tell her that it is tacky and immodest. You could say. "If people want to see a girls breasts they will unfortunately find a way and you don't need to provide the opportunity for them!" Guys can be perverts (no not all, but the majority do seem to be) they don't need any help! I see nothing attractive about a bumpy, lumpy chest, period!
Does that help?! I hope so. Just a thought, maybe you could stop wearing a bra while you are at home and let her see the difference. It's not that great of an idea, but maybe if she sees what she is like it will help her to see the light!!

When I was about that same age a friend of mine said something to me about needing a bra. Feeling self concious, I agreed to go bra shopping with my mom. I realize that you might not want to embarass your daughter, but maybe you could come up with a sneaky plan and hire out one of her friends or even one of your friends to talk to her about it. I bet that if someone else says something to her about it she just might realize that she really does need one. Good luck!

Her next checkup have her Dr talk to her about the importance.
Letting her see someone that has saggy boobies is a sure fire way, hee hee.
I know I was very self conscious when I developed too and it took my mom a LONG time to get me to wear one. Do you have a sister/mom or another female to encourage her or take her bra shopping? I know that sounds silly but when it was my mom I felt more apt to decline then my grandma took me and I got to be measured, picked out a BEAUTIFUL new bra and it just was easier. At that age, you say one thing she will more then likely resist.
Telling her how important it is for her back and the pains she can get in her back if she doesn't have proper support may help.
Usually if our Pediatrician has a talk with my kids about something it carries a lot more weight then when I say it.

I was just like your daughter...I developed early, and I wasn't ready for it. I was 12 when I needed a bra, got my period, etc., and all my friends were slower to develop. I fought the bra thing, too, until it started becoming uncomfortable. My mom didn't force the issue, but she bought a couple and gave them to me to try. I was very active, so it got to the point that running, playing sports, and riding my bike were uncomfortable because i was bouncing all around, so I finally gave in and wore the bra. You daughter may be feeling like she isn't ready to be an adult, and her body is betraying her...if she doesn't come around on her own, by the time school starts, I imagine the situation will remedy itself, because other kids might comment, or boys might start "looking".


My soon to be 11 yr old is already wearing a bra too. As soon as I saw that her body was starting to change I went out and got a book that is published by American Girl. It's called The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls.

This book is great and I totally recommend it for anybody that has girls, particularly younger girls, that are going thru puberty. It covers everything, from brushing your teeth to getting your period. The section about breasts and bras talks about the stages of developing breasts to the different types of bras and how to measure for one.

So, after buying this book I sat down with my daughter and we went thru it together. Then I told her that I thought it was time for a bra and I measured her and took her out shopping for one.

When we went shopping I knew that she wasn't too keen on the idea of wearing a bra so I tried to make it just a "girl" thing. I sent her dad and brother off to do there own thing in the mall while we hung out and did ours. That seem to help. So maybe you can do like a "girls day out" and have lunch, get your nails done, do some shopping (don't forget you "need" to pick up a new bra, you know, as long as you're out), maybe a movie of her choice. But try to slip in the bra shopping in the middle of your girls day out, don't make it just about trying to get her in a bra.

When I take my girl out shopping when ever she needs a new bra I always measure her and then we get a ton of bras to try on. Of course you if you try to be sneaky w a girl's day, you don't want to "just happen" to have a measuring tape handy, so ask to have yourself fitted for a bra because you "need" one. if you're not too busty you can get away with bra shopping at nearly any shop that sales 'em and you want to shop for yours someplace that she'd be able to at least look. (I need a H cup, so I have to shop at LaneBryant, and there's nothing in there that my 11 yr old would be interested in. But if I were a D cup or smaller and went into Victoria Secrets to shop, then my girl would be surrounded by bras and surly able to find at least one that she thought looked pretty and may even think about trying one on.)

My girl doesn't like wearing her bra either and sometimes she "forgets" to put it on so if I think she's not wearing it I'll ask and if she says "Oh, I forgot!" then it's back up to her room to put it on. And if she whines then she just whines.

At places like Target and Wal-Mart you can find Bralettes, which are the ones that look like a sports bra, but clearly won't do any good if you were really playing a sport or running. Some places will call a Bralette a Sports Bra tho. Some Bralettes are really light weight and satiny are great for girls that hate wearing bras. That's all my daughter wanted to wear for a while. Getting her into "real" bras got easier when she got tired of limiting what style of tops she could wear (a bralette or a sports bra is sometimes clearly visible under certain styles of tops). There are also soft-cup triangle bras and bandeau bras, which seem easier to find at "high-end" shops than at Wal-Mart and Target. So if you don't find anything at Target check out Victoria Secrets, if she can wear "real" bra sizes. But if she's still in "training bra" sizes, then you can check out Old Navy (they get really good sales and their sale prices are the same, sometimes lower, than 'stander' Wal-Mart prices), The Gap Body or The Limited Too (the Limited Too has a really pretty price tag just to let you know)

When I have a hard time getting my kids to understand why they have to do, or not do something I try to make them think about how they'd feel if they were in the other person's shoes. So if my daughter were being really hard-headed about a bra, then I would take two pictures of her, one with out her bra under her shirt and one with. Then I'd have her look at the two pictures. (I had to do this a couple of weeks ago for a swimsuit. She was insisting that a suit from last summer that is now 2 sizes too small still fit. I took her picture in the one that "still fits perfectly" and then one that really fits, up loaded it real fast and had her look at them. She decided that even though it "felt like it fit" that it didn't look like it and hasn't asked to wear that suit again since.)

So, good luck to you! I know it's not any easy task.

Oh, yeah, just so you know a fitting is just a good place to start, it does not always mean you are that size. You can walk into 5 different shops and get 5 different measurements. But as long as you know how a bra is suppose to fit then you're good and bound to find the right size and style of bra that works for your body. (I worked at Lane Bryant for almost 2 yrs and I learned more than I ever knew a person could learn about bras.)

Sorry this was so long, but hopefully it will be at least somewhat helpful.

Your 12 y/o isn't responding to the "they will hang down to her bellybutton" because she doesn't understand/appreciate her breasts yet. I thought mine would be perky all my life until about the age of 28. You may just have to be strong-handed on this issue. You could try taking away her favorite things until she starts wearing a bra (one item per day). Don't be a push over either. Tell her the way to get back her things is to wear a bra...give one item back per WEEK of consecutive bra wearing. You may have to put up with some whining and crying but when don't we have to put up with it?

This might work for you...this worked for my sister-in-law that tried everything to get her 12 y/o daughter to wear a bra starting last summer.

How close are your daughters? Maybe the 14 year old can talk with your younger daughter and possibly convice her how important it is. Does you 12 year old have friends that are wearing bras? I remember when I had to start wearing a bra. I didn't want to wear on either. I was stubborn about it. It was actually one of my sisters that brought it to my moms attention, a little too late though.
Let me tell you, it's true if you do not wear a bra when you start developing you will pay for it later. I have no support at all. I am 38 and my breasts look like they should belong to someone who is 78! I would do it all over if I could.
Yes, the boys will definitely start talking notice if they haven't already. Once she starts becoming aware of this she may feel uncomfortable enough that she will decide it's time to put one on. I think that is what did it for me. I noticed a boy "looking" at me and I did not like it.

Best wishes...I hope you can find a solution, soon.
J. W.

I agree that she needs a bra, but all the convincing in the world will not help. I think the best thing to do is let the subject go. She is being stubborn for a number of reasons, but one of them is that she is rebelling against you. I think once she gets to school the peer pressure will be on and few young ladies can fight against that! Also, if it is as bad as you say, the school administrators may take her aside and talk to her about it. Usually another authority figure, besides the parent, will make the child wake up.So, just grin and bear it in silence and hope she comes to her senses one way or another! This is such a tender and confusing age for a young lady. She needs to work it out for herself this time.

DONT force her! puberty can be a scary and embarrassing time and I think forcing the issue will make it so much worse! She'll figure it out from school or friends or whatever and it wont hurt anything in the mean time. Some of the other ladies had some great ideas: buy some for her (comfy ones) and put it in her room (wrap it up as a gift) but dont say anything. She could be resisting because your embarrassing her. Also, have someone else take her bra shopping that's a good idea. Let her see what it looks like in pictures (that's what helped me). And at this age, she could care less what she will look like when she's older so telling her they will sag wont make a difference because it's not a reality to her.
Just thinking back from when I was going through that and that is how I would have liked my mom to handle it. I was so embarrassed talking about that kind of stuff with my mom, especially if she was the one bringing it up.

It could be a comfort thing.. Start with a sports bra all cotton and once she gets use to that then you can move onto something with more support.

I can see you have already done what I mentioned I would reintroduct it- Take her on a lunch date and make it fun. Perhaps let her go braless at home but in public she has no other option. She might have a mind of her own but remember your the parent and taking proper care of our bodies is just part of life.. Or you could also make her wear double shirts. Example 2 tanks and that might keep her from seeing through her shirts.

Hope that helps!

may be buy some bras and some cute little camisole undershirts. then let her try them out in her own time. she may start with the cammies first and then move on but if they are in her drawer she will do it when she is ready and i am sure she will be ready eventually. i was the first in my grade to wear a bra and i was so self conscious but in time i got used to it. let your daughter try this part of womanhood on in her own time, and you will save your self a lot of stress and arguing. good luck, N.


I have three girls ... 16, 14, and almost 12. The last one will be starting middle school in the Fall. My advice is to measure her for bust size and then go to WalMart, Target, etc. and buy a three pack of sports bras (with the skinny straps). Just put them in her undie drawer. Peer pressure is a tough way to learn, but if she's that strong willed, that's probably what it will take. A boy will make a comment (trust me) and she'll be changing out for PE with all the other girls. If you have these in her undie drawer, she'll be more likely to just start wearing them on her own. When she finally succombs, don't say anything. If she asks you to take her shopping, again, please don't say anything but OK. She knows you told her. She'll respect and love you for not rubbing it in!

Best Wishes,

J., I was like your daughter: and when my mom forced me to wear one, I went to school, into the restroom, took it off, tucked it into a plastic bag, sneaked it into my bagpack, and walked around happy all day. Before going home, the same procedure the other way around, I came home as mama liked it.
At home, I was allowed not to wear it, but when we went out together, I had to suffer with these 'reins' on, as I called it...

I believe forcing is never good, as kids start seeking ways top deceive, and lie, this is not what needs to happen...

What finally made me wear a bra (oh how right she is: it is hot, and stuffy, and YOU CANNOT BREATHE normally, right, when you just start it :) )
I started running, and you know when you run, it is not so comfy anymore: these things just keep jumping up and down, and slow down your running speed, really. Once I tried to run with my bra on, I found out that it HELPS me to run comfortably, fast, and without extra motion of my body parts.
Slowly, I got accustomed to it, but it sure took time.

J., pelase be patient, and let it happen slowly... do not make your girl feel that you are on the two sides of the wall, where she is in defence and you are in the attacking mode, as you might manage to force her to do what you wish, but you will lose the happiness of your friendship, this is how the gap between generations starts developing, and some close relatives, kids and parents, never get obver it.
Think FRIENDS, think COMMUNICATION, think solving the problems together!

All the luck, and have a nice summer, all your family!

Let it go. Have you heard of love and logic? They have books and seminars. This is her decision, so let this go! When the kids at school start to make fun of her she will change her mind! I do agree a bra is a must but she probably is resisting because you want it! (kids!!!) Look into love and logic, it helped our family so much, and this teen stuff is going to escalate!

I too have dealt with a recalcitrant teen about what is and is not appropriate dress. You have some great suggestions already about tanks with built in support and sports bras. You can't keep her in the house if she doesn't comply. That just intensifies the power struggle. I would go through her clothes and remove anything that is too tight or too see-through. She doesn't want to wear a bra? Fine, she can wear baggy shirts and dark colors. The ball is then in her court.
Good luck

Let her big sister have a talk with her. That might make the difference.

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.

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!

Ack. I was a small breasted woman before I got pregnant and now I'm forced to wear the armor. I used to just wear the comfy streachy "trainer" bras but now I'm joking that they finally learned. Sigh.

Total aside:
However, I was the opposite from your daughter in Jr. High. On the 1st day of gym class, all the other girls had them on when they changed into their gym clothes. I acted sick and went to the nurse's office. I was busy after school so my Mom went out and got me one and hid it in the lunch she dropped off at the office for me righ before gym class.

I took the brown bag into the bathroom in the locker room and when I opened it I found she'd bought me a Miss Piggy bra. Pink and green adorned with Miss Piggy's face on a plastic button between the boobs. I nearly died. Luckily the nurse's office was still open that day.

Back to the subject:
I agree it tanks that we live in a society that is so shy about ladies boobs... BUT WE DO!!! So, bras we must. You can talk about the physical aspects, but also the social message it sends when you don't wear one. In our society, unlike the Masaii women in Kenya, we have certain social norms regarding the booby.

Just like you wouldn't let her dress like a street walker, you have to lay down the law and create consequences. Whatever your strategy is for other infractions it should be the same for this. If she's sneaky, she'll just appease you and take it off as soon as you're out of sight. I am pregnant with my 1st -a girl- and already fearing these power struggles!!!


Uh oh! If she's starting middle school as has to go to gym class... when she changes in the locker room and shes the only one bearing it all (and running around the gym with no bra!)hopefully she'll change her mind. You're right, she will regret that when her boobs start falling :)

When i began developing boobs, peer pressure was what got me. the girls gave me a hard time until i gave in. personally, i would let up and see what happens. she might need someone other than her mom to tell her, and this might be a form of rebellion.

What is her explanation for why she doesn't want to wear one?

I can relate though I didn't develop at all. So my mom was trying to get me to wear one just for gym class in junior high. So she got a couple differnt options. She had pretty camis (and the Madonna style was in at the time as it is now so it was pretty convencing with the lace.) I wore the camis for a bit and then a 'shelf bra' showed up one day in my laundry. I put it on and would wear it. by then, I was older and actually geting something to support and would go shopping with my mom. But the thing was, I was embarased. I didn't want to grow up. I didn't want boys to notice me, etc. So my mom was totally non-pressure, she never said a word when I shaved my legs, or whatever. those items just sort of showed up one day and I used them in private. I had an older sister and listened (she was very vocal) so I knew how all this woman stuff worked by the time it showed up. Also, I had some book I got and I heard Bath and Body works had a good one on young girls and grooming...you know deodorant, face care, etc. I saw it years ago and looked prett look for tweens. again, that sort of thing would just show up one day..I knew I could ask for help when I was ready.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.