Another bra thread...she won't wear one

(36 Posts)
foolonthehill Sun 19-May-13 19:57:06

My DD (11 Y6) is lovely, grown up, gentle, kind etc...and the first of several daughters

Anyway she point blank refuses to talk about "growing up" to acknowledge that this is and will happen and to even discuss the wearing of a bra.

I was brought up by a very prudish and self conscious mum who told me nothing about periods, growing up etc. fortunately I read lots and frequented the local library hmm.

I was determined that my daughters and sons would not have to contend with this, so have been quite open and answered all their questions as well and age-appropriately as I can BUT DD1 absolutely refuses to go there..and has for many years.

She is now 5'5" and quite well developed. She is sporty and really could do with wearing a bra (Xcountry etc)..also i worry that she is going to start periods and try to cope on her own (as I did...not that she knows this). I really want to be there for her but she won;t let me...walks away, grumps and refuses.

anyone been here done that? What happened? Is there a magic formula to help her to come to me.

as an aside, as a family we have been though loads of rubbish with domestic abuse and we are fully able to talk through our feelings and issues around this. it's just growing up that is the problem. (and i think it is true that she does not want to)

what about a vest top that has the in built support in the chest area?

Like this one from ASDA

foolonthehill Sun 19-May-13 20:05:25

yes, I thought that these looked good too...I have tried similar, I have bought crop tops too, sports bras...etc. She has worn them once or twice but has stopped again and blanks/strops if I mention anything...suggested proper pretty bras too...all same...refusal not just to wear but to engage


LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 19-May-13 20:05:44

Yes you do need to do something, I avoided and my mum didn't say anything, I ended up with very large and saggy boobs sad

Startail Sun 19-May-13 20:10:06

If she's 5'5" in Y6 she is going to be very self conscious. That's way taller than DD2 is at 12 and probably taller than most of her class.

DD1 was probably 5'3" by the end of Y6 (ie just shorter than me).

However, grown up she looks she isn't going to feel it while many of her peers still look like little children.

I think all you can do is keep the lines of communication open and be there for her. Once she gets to secondary school growing up won't feel anything like so odd.

fengirl1 Sun 19-May-13 20:13:42

Dd1 was rather like this - I solved the period problem by waiting until we were in the car alone together and said matter-of-factly 'Right, tell me what you know about periods'. She opened up a bit and we had a chat. It then paved the way for her to ask for help if she needed it. Just make sure the journey will be long enough! If she clams up, you could say 'Well I would hate for you to start and not know what to do or what's going to happen' and then give her the basics. As for the bra issue, I agree with going with a crop top style one (there are now loads around now that claim to just need a clothes size) - just buy her a couple and give them to her, asking her to let you know if they're too big or small.

I remember being similar. I only started wearing anything because everyone else did and it was obvious when getting changed for PE and by that time it was Y8 and I was 13. I had nothing to fill a bra with anyway and it just seemed a bit pointless at the time.

If she doesn't want to talk about it right now she may still want to in the future as her friends also start to develop and things start to happen. She has made that decision for now, and knows you are happy to talk so I don't think you can feel guilty about leaving her to cope with it on her own like you had. You didn't have that choice, she does!

tallulah Sun 19-May-13 20:19:02

My DD1 did the same. At the time she was desperate to be a boy sad She just would not engage, and you can't make her. She also didn't say anything when she started her periods and was making her own towels from cotton wool and plasters.

Things got much better when she went to secondary and had more supportive friends.

I'm hoping to enlist her help if I have the same problems with DD2.

foolonthehill Sun 19-May-13 20:27:05

currently in her drawer she has 2 secret support vest tops, 5 crop tops in various styles and colours, 2 sports bras and a a non-wired "real" bra.

I would estimate she is going on for a B cup already.

although she is extremely tall for her age and literally towers above most Y6 she would by no means be the first to war a bra...though it is true that most of her closest friends are extreme skinnys with no need yet.

Will try the car discussion....

I am conscious that I may be over thinking this and feeling rejected (?!!) because I was so sure i would be able to be there for my girls. it really upsets me that she won't let me talk to her about this stuff. Equally i really want it to be about her, and not about me

riponmum Sun 19-May-13 20:34:37

Have you got a friend who could talk too her about this, she might be more willing to talk to them? Also maybe they could explain you are worried / concerned that she won't talk too you and you want too make sure she knows she has someone she can talk too. Hope this helps

foolonthehill Sun 19-May-13 20:41:13

That would be so good...and i am hoping in time that will come but we were massively isolated socially by the effect of DV so i am only just finding ways to meet people...shame grandma isn't an option!

riponmum Sun 19-May-13 20:45:03

Does she go to guides or any other youth group ? There might be someone there who she could talk too or who could help you .

Branleuse Sun 19-May-13 21:25:51

tell her that shes got boobs now and she needs a bra and that she will thank you later but she needs to start wearing one

foolonthehill Sun 19-May-13 21:27:58

grin B...the light blue touch paper and retire approach....

Dancergirl Sun 19-May-13 23:47:22

It could be she will feel more comfortable wearing one when she starts secondary. For some girls (myself included) there's something about having to wear a bra at primary school is a real wrench, even if she's not the only one.

They grow up A LOT in Year 7, plus she'll see a lot of her peer group wearing them so maybe she'll change her mind then..?

VenusUprising Sun 19-May-13 23:59:44

I think you're doing fine.

Buy her a few of those support tops and leave it.

She's obviously afraid of something - being a woman, and being abused (guessing here, but you say she's been witness to dv)?

Maybe tweak the conversation to asking her about what she thinks about being an adult, and what kind of job she wants. What she wants for herself in her future, and laying plans to get there?

I'd lay off the physical development side of things for the moment.

foolonthehill Mon 20-May-13 12:21:37

thanks, good pointers for me.

Notmyidea Mon 20-May-13 13:28:23

I laid down the law with dd1 after seeing her tap class. She was noticably wobbling, (at age 10) and it was very much a case of being no nonsense and telling her that whatever anxieties she had about bra wearing she was setting herself up for discomfort and unwanted attention by avoiding it. It worked, the subsequent period chats were much smoother.

titchy Mon 20-May-13 13:51:27

I'm fairly sure that a years worth of wobbly bra-less boobs does not a lifetime of misery and discomfort make.

Leave some panty liners in the bathroom or her bedroom, tell her (and your other dds if they're possibly old enough) they're there and leave her to it.

Once she's at secondary she'll be more than happy to wear a bra.

Startail Mon 20-May-13 14:17:55

Honesty, not wearing a bra will do no harm.

Only you know your DD well enough to know if laying down the law would work. It does with my practical down to earth DD1 and is totally counter productive with DD2.

By the time she's at secondary, she'll be delighted not to be instantly flattened in the corridors and hopefully feel happier being tall and grown up.

Takver Mon 20-May-13 21:42:51

<shrugs> if she doesn't want to wear a bra, does it matter? Yr 6 DD is also pretty well developed, and says she's more comfortable without (doesn't even like a crop-top).

It was a bit of an issue at school for a while as she was getting teased, but she chose to ride it out and challenge the teasers as to explain why it was so essential.

It must be said that I sometimes wear a crop top, sometimes nothing, and only a 'proper' bra with going-out clothes, so I guess I don't see it as particularly vital myself.

darlingbudd Mon 20-May-13 21:48:49

There was a recent study that showed that bras actually make breast droopiness worse. I'll see if I can find it.

I'm another who will avoid wearing a bra if I can get away with it. I find them so uncomfortable.

darlingbudd Mon 20-May-13 21:50:53 bras make breasts more saggy.

DewDr0p Mon 20-May-13 21:52:23

OP I'm not sure I have any wise words to offer but I remember feeling exactly like this myself in Yr6. I was taller than all my friends and the only one with boobs and I hated it. I was completely embarrassed by the whole thing and wanted to pretend it wasn't happening.

I felt much better once it started happening to other friends too.

Could you initiate the conversation very gently and tell her that you sense she is upset with you about this and can you talk about it? Maybe she just needs to come to this in her own time?

SorrelForbes Mon 20-May-13 22:00:40

There's a few interesting responses to this on some bra blogs. The study was done (IIRC) on very slim, athletic women with small boobs.

scaevola Mon 20-May-13 22:04:42

I think her attitude towards bra wearing will change spontaneously when she goes to secondary school. Can you just leave is one? And save the car talk for other efforts to improve communication about puberty and periods?

Takver Mon 20-May-13 22:06:12

But on the whole, Sorrel, I'd say yr 6 girls tend to be slim and athletic, with relatively small boobs (even those who are well developed comparatively)!

SorrelForbes Mon 20-May-13 22:07:51

Oh yes, absolutely. I was going off on a tangent really and being a bit more general.

eimmum Mon 20-May-13 23:25:36

I can sympathise. My DD last year (yr6) refused to wear a bra even though all her friends were. She probably needed to - even her Dad noticed. She spent the summer covered up in hoodies to hide her shape. When she started year7 she still refused to wear one saying they were uncomfortable. She also said she didn't want to grow up and she also expressed concerns her younger sister would tease her. Interestingly she also told me that she was worried that if she started wearing a bra then her younger cousins wouldn't think she was a child anymore and wouldn't want to play with her.

Now in her 3rd term she wears an M&S cropped sports bra everyday She has a normal one as well but says it is uncomfortable. She realises that she will need to wear the normal one if she wants to wear t-shirts in the summer as the sports bra will show. I eventually just kept gently talking to her and allowed her to decide when she was ready. She was a 32B with her first bra. She is 5f7" and has size 8 feet!

My advice would be to leave her to it but keep bringing up the subject in a supportive way. Year7 may be a turning point for her.

foolonthehill Tue 21-May-13 10:58:16

Thanks. I really appreciate the perspective.

I guess I've left the bra thing for a long time given her development...she easily passes for 16 although only 11, is at least a B cup (maybe C) and very sporty...she gets comments (which she hates) from her younger siblings and others....tbh it just looks so uncomfortable wobbling around!!and not good for mixed sport I feel.

I hope she just comes round to being able to talk around's sad to think she is choosing to "go it alone" when I remember doing this and it was soooo hard.

specialsubject Wed 29-May-13 21:31:16

periods cannot be ignored but bra wearing is never compulsory. It makes no difference to future shape or development, bras only alter boobs while they are being worn.

if she is more comfortable without, fine.

foolonthehill Fri 31-May-13 22:00:36

OK so just because you've all been so nice and supportive...following our brief holiday...I confirmed my suspicions that she had started her periods and hidden it(piles and piles of manky underwear, trousers etc all under the bed), despite a very softly softly talk that I "understand she is shy/doesn;t want to talk/embarrased etc" but that this is something that has to be dealt with because it's not going away.

then found all crop tops/discrete panty liners etc cut up in the bin...

this lovely girl really does not want to grow up sad and I wish she could just forget about it for a few years for her sake...but it's not in my power to give.

So I've had to have a talk about practicalities...we can;t afford to throw good clothes away and it's much less embarrassing to wear towels/panty liners than to be bleeding thru' the clothes. Bra's I'll leave to her now, there's just too much to deal with.

Thanks all...and if you have any more pearls of wisdom I'd be glad to hear them!

Secondme Sun 09-Jun-13 18:07:54

My dd is much the same. Refuses to wear a bra but will wear a crop top. No periods yet but I know she will find it really hard to tell me and will be very embarrassed.
I was contemplating writing a note/letter because it's not face to face and will not be as embarrassing. Spoke to her briefly and she thinks this is an ok idea.

foolonthehill Sun 09-Jun-13 19:10:40

I wrote a note last week after finding some more concealed items. just to say how much i love her and understand she doesn;t want to talk...and this is where the sanitary towels are now and I won;t talk about it again unless she wants too...or we have problems.

yet to see if this has any good effect.

It really is rubbish for them isn;t it? And for us too i guess.

Sparklymommy Thu 13-Jun-13 09:18:59

I am at the beginning of what I feel will be a battle with my Dd1 ATM. She is 10, and has just started to develop. She is moody, constantly teary about silly things and her body is starting to change. I bought her some crop tops yesterday and thankfully she has gone to school wearing one today, but she also refuses to discuss the changes that are happening and what she should expect. I hope you dd comes to terms with this soon and let's you in to help her.

Theas18 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:23:09

Aww you both get a hug from me. And an absorbent shoulder too.

This is tough for her but she'll get there.

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