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Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


I'm not actually her mum but help!

6 replies

jasmine2000 · 08/05/2013 18:45

Hi, I have come on here because my half-sister is 12 and starting to go through puberty. Her mum is a relapsed drug addict and alcoholic who she hasn't seen for 3 years, so my dad has full custody. Although my dad tries to talk to my sister he's hopeless really, he has no experience with these matters (it was my mum who I learnt about everything from) and my sister just ends up getting embarrassed and telling him to shut up (which he does.) I feel like it's now my job to talk to her about periods and boys and safe sex etc, but I'm really not sure how to go about it. I'm taking her to get her first bra on Friday, but I haven't told her yet as I've tried to before and she point blank refused and went bright red. Can anyone give me any advice? When I got my first bra ( I was 10 I'm 19 now) I remember being really excited and asking my mum if I could get one, so why won't she let me take her? Also does anyone know where is a good place for first bras? I went to tammy girl but it was awful and I think it's closed down now. Any advice would be great, thanks :)

OP posts:
TeenAndTween · 08/05/2013 21:00

M&S Teen Angel(?) bras for early teens are good.
M&S also do fittings but you may need to book ahead, not just turn up.

(tammy girl now part of BHS I think)

kernowal · 08/05/2013 21:20

Do you drive? I have some of my best "difficult" conversations with my 11 year old when I'm driving and she thinks I can't see the faces she's pulling. She tends to open up a bit more then, as I have to stare straight ahead at the road and she can pretend I'm not listening.

Alternatively, start moaning about how hopeless your dad is (in a nice way) about talking about "stuff", laugh about it and spell out the facts in language she'll understand. I know it's embarrassing, but she's at the age where she probably doesn't even want to imagine that her dad ever had sex, let alone talk to him about it.

My DD doesn't need a bra yet, but we did go to M&S a few months ago, started mucking about with the funniest most OTT bras I could find as a joke for me and ended up going home with a bunch of bright crop tops for her to wear on PE days at school. Why don't you take her shopping for you, then try to sneak up on her with your real intentions? Another thread on here this evening suggested Debenhams, which may be a bit cooler than good old M&S.

Can you find out what she's done at school over the last couple of years about periods etc as she may well know all the factual stuff already, but not the emotional side of things. Lillets seem to do a brilliant teenage range, including starter packs, which may be worth investing in. Tuck one away in her room in a drawer and make sure your dad has got another one handy or at least knows where to look to find it.

Good luck & let us know how you get on.

feetheart · 09/05/2013 10:12

Well done for taking on the responsibility for helping her, she may be embarrassed now but she will appreciate it in the long run - you sound like a lovely big sister :)

Have you thought about getting her a couple of books? I did this last year with my DD(9 at the time - earlier than I had intended but she was starting to get quite curvy) She didn't want to know at first but I said she could have the books to look at when she wanted to and that I was happy to chat about things whenever she wanted to as well. The books sat on her shelf for about 6 months but one evening she asked if we could read one instead of a bedtime story and we have chatted on and off since then.
I got What's Happening to Me? and Little Book of Growing Up as they are quite clear and simple and aimed at younger girls and I didn't want to scare her off with lots of stuff about boyfriends etc. There will be suggestions on here for slightly older girls but I really rate the first one as a starting point.

Good luck and well done again.

MrsBodger · 09/05/2013 10:29

I think it's fantastic that you're taking the initiative, cos I bet she really really doesn't want to talk about it all with her dad. She was probably a bit negative because it took her by surprise. I agree with feetheart, the What's Happening to Me? book is very good for this age group - gives all the factual info but doesn't go into stuff that they aren't ready for at this age. I found with my daughters that even if they weren't keen to talk when I brought the subject up, they came back to me later when they were ready, and it's great to have a book for them to look at in private to help them understand.

Does she really need to get a bra now? If she does, is it a good idea just to spring it on her tomorrow? Like you, I was very keen to get my first bra (desperate late developer!) but it sounds to me as if she needs a bit of time to come to terms with the idea of physical changes so should you perhaps wait a bit?

ZingyMom · 14/05/2013 15:08

"Asking About Sex and Growing Up" by Joanna Cole is a great book. It covers a lot of topics and makes no judgements about anything. My daughter loved reading it and it help me open a dialogue with her.

BastardDog · 14/05/2013 15:13

New Look does some good first bras.

The What's Happening to Me book was good for my dd.

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