My 8 Year Old Daughter Wants a Bra - Oh My!

Updated on July 10, 2008
M.M. asks from Brighton, MI
11 answers 8 year old daughter approached me the other day about wanting to start wearing a bra. She told me how difficult it was for her to ask me this question and the only reason she was brave enough to was because two of her friends double dared her to! With that said, we had a lovely mother daughter talk where I made her feel very comfortable to approach me with any subject matter and assured her I would never embarass her or get upset with her when she needs to discuss things with me or just needs my opinion. We had a short birds and the bees talk; including puberty and she felt very proud of herself for talking with me. She is not showing any signs of puberty at all and realizes she doesn't need a bra but would like one because the girls at school are wearing them. She is in a class with 8-11 year olds so it's true, some of the girls are wearing them. I thought we covered all the territory when our conversation ended with her realizing she didn't need one yet but when she does I'll take her immediately.

Today while we were at Target she showed me all the bras and asked for one. We discussed the different types of, sports, our "real" ones and she understands she only wants one and it would be a sports type or basic cami bra she wants. I told her I hate for her to start something so early when she doesn't need it (she's not self conscious at all either), she has her whole life and so forth. Finally, I suggested maybe getting one with the matching panties and she could sleep in it during the summer, but not wear it daily as a "bra". I also told her I'd turn to all you fabulous moms @ mamasource and ask for your opinions. She knows I'm on her all of the time!

So me out here! Again she isn't developed a single bit and she hasn't mentioned being embarassed about her breasts being seen through any of her clothing. It sounds a whole lot like the case of my friends have it so I want it. But what do you think??

M. M.

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So What Happened?

I purchased a couple cute little bras for her yesterday and she's thrilled! They're similar to a sports bra, just a little more simple. Cotton with adjustable shoulder straps but no hook closures. I told her how proud I was of her for approaching me on this delicate subject and I'd always be here for her. She's happy and that's what is important right now.

Thank you for all the great advice.

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answers from Detroit on

hi there. mom-katrina g said it best, it's a novelty for her now. so let her wear one. get her a cute frilly training bra and if she wants to wear it for now she can. I remember I couldn't wait to start wearing one and my mom let me, I didn't need it but she understood the importance of letting me feel like I belonged.

you could also buy her: Growing up: It's a Girl Thing
by Mavis Jukes, Debbie Tilley

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answers from Detroit on

I agree that it won't hurt to let het start wearing one now. She will probably only wear it for a little bit until the "fun" wears off!

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answers from Detroit on

Kudos for your mommy/ daughter talk!

But what is the harm in letting her have one? Have you asked if the friends that set up on the dare...Are they teasing her?

On the plus side... if she begins now with a Sports bra (I feel this would be more of the 'real' thing for her), she will not have to go through the 'itchiness' these can impose.

It also sounds like she just wants to feel grown-up and feel like the rest of the girls. (are they 'developed' enough yet, too? Perhaps it is just a "I want to be like a big girl and I am done being a small child" thing/ feeling.)

Good luck!

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answers from Benton Harbor on

I think there are times when 'everyone else is doing it' is a good enough reason. While our first response, naturally, is to quote our mothers; "If everybody else was jumping off a bridge...", sometimes the opportunity to show our children that we DO listen to them presents itself and should be embraced. It will be harmless for her to wear a cami/bra and she will either hate it and stop wearing it once the novelty wears off, or keep wearing it until she needs a real one. Either way, you have the chance here to demonstrate that her opinion matters to and you are not running a dictatorship...LOL! We all like to feel like 'part of the crowd' once in a while and this is her time to 'be like everyone else'. You'll have plenty of opportunity later to use this as a conversation ender when you HAVE to put your foot down about something and she claims you 'never listen to her'!

Good luck in your decision!

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answers from Detroit on

Pressure to feel like everyone else is very strong. When kids don't feel like they fit in it can cause long term confidence issues and such. I see no big deal in her wearing one if it makes her feel more comfortable and confident. Go with the cami one and she will be happy adn it is not actually a bra. What would it hurt?

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answers from Detroit on

I really don't see what it would hurt if you bought her a bra. She might as well get used to wearing one because someday she really will need one. But most importantly, keep those mommy and daughter talks going. It is very important that she knows she can talk to you about anything. I just posted something yesterday about my relationship between me and my son (although it was a sex issue I asked for advice on). We are close and he will talk to me about almost anything.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I just took my little sister, who will be 11 the end of July, bra shopping last Sunday. She was WAY too imbarrased to go with our mom so I offered. She started out wearing the cami type bras, like a tank top with a shelf bra built it...those worked fine for awhile, until she started to develop more, now she is in a "real" bra. You said your daughter isn't developed yet; I would say that if she wants to wear a cami bra then let her. Really, it's like a tank top, with a shelf bra. To her it will be like a bra and to anyone else, will look like a tank top! This will hopefully promote a good habit of wearing a bra and as soon as she does start to develop she will be comfortable with something "constricting" her so to say, in that area. A bra is a hard thing to get used to when you have never had to wear one before, so I think starting early will help. I think explaining to her that she really doesn't need one, but you will let her wear one to get her used to the feeling might be a good approach. Either way, I don't think a cami bra will hurt! Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

Wow! That's a tough one - many of girls that age are starting to wear them (mine started at 8 or early 9 and ws just starting to show that she needed it!) She is 10 now and she has estabished good habits, so I can't complain about starting her early. I also understand that you don't want to do it just because others are doing it (which is probably a precedence you don't want to start)! I would suggest letting her make some choices that are simple choices with smaller consequences and let her know that there are other choices you will choose (e.g. curfew) as she gets older where there will be no compromise. I think this will allow her to start making choices and understand the implications, and the cost is small (Parenting with Love and Logic). I don't have a lot of advice, more or less just wanted to lend some support.



answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

I raised a step-daughter and now have a daughter of my own and I honestly don't see what the big deal is. It's a bra... Maybe I'm devils advocate here, but there are so many other things to worry about. Your daughter wants to fit in with the other girls. I remember my step-daughter coming home and being upset because a boy tried to snap her bra and she wasn't wearing one which led to a lot of teasing. Yes she was flat as a pancake, but who cares, she wanted to fit in, so off to JC Penney for the cute little satin sets. When my 2 year old daughter is 8 or 9 and she asks for one I know I would never say no, off to the store we'll go. She's not asking to dye her hair purple and blue, just to fit in with her friends. I know I may not be with the majority on this one, but I've learned since being a step-parent and a parent to my little miracle babies, that you pick and choose your battles and it's served me well.

Good Luck!
J. in Macomb



answers from Detroit on

I would say you are handling it well!!! Great suggestion of wearing it at night.. She may not realize how much we grow to hate them, but need them so. :-)
Perhaps having her wear a sports type of one at night would help her realize that its not all victoria secret catalogues and can be a bit uncomfy at times...
From your post it does sound like its a bit of a "my friends are doing it so i want to". Could also be that she views women and girls that wear them as being "mature". By chance is she more mature than most 8 yr olds?
My daughter is 6 almost 7 and she has made passing coments already about bras... I also remember my younger siblings around 7 or 8 "trying on" my bras... I am guessing that its a natural "i'm growing up" issue... Please post a follow up so I can take notes for when i have to have "the bra talk" with my girly. :-)



answers from Jackson on

I think that you should let her wear it. It wont really hurt anything and its more like an undershirt if shes not developing yet anyway. I think your idea about wearing it with shorts in the summer was a great one...but she was probably thinking in the back of her head--well, those would be pajamas?!...
I know a girl thats 8 and she is also not developing yet but it makes her feel more like shes getting older and she acts more mature than most 8 year olds i know. Plus, getting her in the habit to wear them now might help her get another routine underway by making more time to accomplish things in the mornings before leaving the house. An Idea I have is that if she is ready to be "older", give her some chores around the house and explain that as you get older, more is expected from you or something like that....Im sure you will develop on that more if you decide to move forward with this. I think you should really worry when she asks about make-up!!

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