My feed

to access all these features

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


DD can't cope with the thought of body growth

38 replies

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 12:56


My DD11 is struggling with the growing up body change side of things. She has known all about puberty, periods etc for a long time. However she has always been adamant she does not want to grow boobs (I told her she has no choice in matter as her body will do what it does). She does not really like talking about and admitted she does not want her body to change.

Compared to a lot of 11yr olds she is lucky in that she has no spots and clear skin apart from a couple of subtle blackheads. She has been using Simple face wash every day. She has no sign of any hair anywhere (none on arms or bits, well she hasn't said anything and she is usually open about it). Her legs are hairy and asked for removal cream but I refused because the hair are so fair you cannot see them at all. Told her it will grow back darker so she should leave as long as possible before doing down that route.

She gets more embarrassed in front of me now although she is happy to walk around with a tshirt on and be comfortable showing her bottom half off if she has just got out shower but she does not like me to see upper half. She never walks around naked and always wears knickers in bed - as my mum said, you need to get air to it but she hates feeling of no underwear.

She has a real phobia about getting boobs and it is getting a bit of a battle with us as I am slightly frustrated as don't know how to deal with it. She has had some body issues lately. Overall if you saw her from the back she is of slim building, no hips, long legs. But front wise she does have a tum on her which she hates. She has always had wide back/chest like I did at that age. Surprisingly she did not really have much in the boob area so has got away with not wearing any kind of crop top, despite the fact most of her friends are wearing them, some who are flat as a pancake. She says if she wore a bra her boobs would look bigger because her friends look like that, and she doesn't want to.

However, a couple of months ago, I noticed that the boob area on DD was much more noticeable under school blouse and tops. Talking to her was a nightmare because she would not entertain. However about 2 months ago I had to be stern and sit her down. I did my best to explain that it doesn't look nice or flattering and that just wearing a simple crop top would look better, plus help her to get used to eventually wearing a bra. World War 2 broke out with her screaming she does not want to wear anything because everyone will say something, that it will draw attention to her, that she doesn't want boobs and that she doesn't care if she her boobs grow droopy, she would rather they were droopy than pert!!!! She scrutinised herself in the mirror for an hour before reluctantly conceding that yes you could see boobage and that it did not look very good with no under garment. I explained that boobs need support from a growth point of view but that still didn't cut the mustard. In end I had to say she either starts to wear a crop top or I would take her to the doctor for a talk about boob growth. Not the way I wanted it to go but thankfully the embarrassment of being dragged to doctors won and we found some suitable crop tops for her to wear and she now says she feels uncomfortable without them.

In the last 3 weeks, I have yet again noticed some more growth in the boob area and in some tops, the crop tops are not really covering it. I always told her that when she starts Y7 in September she will have to wear a proper bra but she is adamant the answer is no. I don't know what to do - if she has grown more in chest in 3 weeks, by the end of the summer she will grow more. I have one first bra from Matalan but she took one look and was like NO NO NO. It is not a case of me forcing her, it is a case that she needs to start wearing proper support. I don't want to get into another screaming match or force her but what else can I do? She won't even discuss it with my mum (who she often turns to sometimes) so I don't know how best to approach it? I have tried the calm approach, the necessary (ie growth, support etc) talk, the shouting match and none seem to make her budge. She resolutely does not want boys looking at the chest area and to her, wearing a bra = boys looking! I have explained nipples will show if not wearing correct bra which makes boys look, saying bras stop that showing. Crop tops will not stop nips showing when cold but nope, she still won't hear it. I would rather she started wearing a proper bra now so by end of summer hols, she will feel comfy in them going into Y7. I would have summer hols are perfect time to practice wearing a first bra.

I do know it was a battle with me at that age although I just did not want fancy bras, rather than no bras. I do remember my poor mum searching high and low for plain bras and not being able to find any - I was adamant I was going to wear any kind of pattern, colour or lacy bras as a pre teen lol.

Any help appreciated !!

OP posts:
GraysAnalogy · 23/07/2015 13:01

Maybe it's because you're making such a massive issue out of it and watching her for signs constantly and telling her what she has to wear?

Telling her you're going to take her to the doctor to talk about 'boob growth', are you for real?

You're going to give her a complex if you carry on like this. Oh and fwiw, if she doesn't want to wear a bra that's her decision.

sticklebrickstickle · 23/07/2015 13:07

It does sound like you are making this a much bigger deal than it needs to be.

Ultimately it is her body, her decision. If she doesn't feel ready to or want to wear a bra yet then that's okay. I'm sure there will come a point at which her breasts have grown enough that she recognises the need to wear a bra (although they're not compulsory for any girl/ woman) and she knows when that time comes she can tell you and you'll take her to buy one. But you need to let her come to that decision herself without making it such a massive deal.

I would just drop the issue now and wait for her to bring it up when and if she's ready to purchase a bra.

GraysAnalogy · 23/07/2015 13:09

I don't think she 'cant cope' I think it's just she isn;t acting how you want her to act. You are adamant she is to wear and bra and are using bullying and shaming tactics (sitting down and having 'stern words', threatening to take to the doctor) to force her to do so.

She'll know when she wants to wear one. There's absolutely no reason why she HAS to wear one now. You're passing on what you had as a child to your daughter. You are creating a battle.

MarchLikeAnAnt · 23/07/2015 13:11

How about a vest with built-in light support? Btw I think it's cruel to not let her remove body hair.

GinAndSonic · 23/07/2015 13:15

Im sure i read some research that showed boobs droop less in women who never wear bras. A sports bra on PE days, crop tops or camis on other days IF she wants to wear them is fine.

reallybadidea · 23/07/2015 13:21

Goodness you sound obsessed! I'd have been mortified if my mother had gone on like it sounds you are. As a general rule ime the more you nag, the more kids resist.

I would back right off, she's only 11 and will figure it out when her brain catches up with her body.

NerrSnerr · 23/07/2015 13:22

Let her decide. Buy some cropped tops and bras and leave them in her room. You're making a huge deal out of this.

As for shaving her legs, once again it's her body. She needs to make choices about her own body.

OTheHugeManatee · 23/07/2015 13:28

I'm not surprised she's a bit defensive with you on her case like that! Just get her a few hidden support vests and stop hectoring her Confused

springlamb · 23/07/2015 13:35

I'd just buy her a range of bras, sports bra, supportive vests and put them in her drawer. If she is 11 and going on to secondary school in September, by Xmas all this will be in the past and whilst you're looking at M&S's best, she'll be looking at Janet Reger!
My own dd was quite bra-resistant, mostly through embarrassment. We found a compromise in Tesco's sports bras they are almost vest-like over the shoulders, and have a band of supportive material underneath that, on my dd, extended almost to her belly button. Almost 14 now and it's polka dots everywhere.

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 13:36

Grays, I appreciate your response but I do not think you needed to be so rude or judgemental. I am not "watching her" as you say. Both her nans did mention to me they had noticed and perhaps it made me notice more but I don't think I can be shouted by you for that? I thought these sites were for constructive comments or criticism, not judging of parenting skills? We all make mistakes on a daily basis and maybe I am not dealing with this well at all, I don't mind admitting but I wanted helpful advice, not a judgemental bashing! I would not do that to you even if I disagreed. I am not saying she HAS to wear one as such but going into Y7 mixed secondary, she isn't going to want her boobs to show, I know she doesn't so what I am saying I guess is that a bra will make them show less?? Even during her sex education talk at school they talked about wearing bras etc.

Sticklebrick thank you for putting your post in a constructive way, I really appreciate that and yes you are right I think. It is so hard being the mum of a daughter with these issues and I am struggling I am happy to admit. None of my friends with DD same age seem to have this particular problem so I have felt a bit alone in dealing with. My DD has always been against the crowd with regards to puberty and again, maybe I am only aware of it now because she is starting secondary and growing up. Your reply has made me think I am worrying too much. I work in a school and can see how cruel girls and boys can be about the boob thing so perhaps that has over taken my own way to dealing with it with my daughter (on top of the way she already felt).

I am sorry for not wanting my daughter to get picked on for boobs showing which has happened to some older friends of hers. Being worried for my daughter there is nothing wrong in that?? It does not make me a bad mother. I am happy to hold hands up to and admit I probably am approaching it wrong but that is what I posted on here for, for some help in dealing with it in a different way.

I had no problems wearing a bra at school, my issue is that I only wanted a plain one but in general I was not as against it like DD.

MarchlikeanAnt I see what you saying but she only mentioned the once. If at any point I thought she was uncomfortable with it of course I would get her some cream. She did also have some vests with built in support but said she got too hot wearing them (this time last year all she wore was vests so it is amazing how quickly they change what they likes).

Thanks GinandSonic that is good to know. It is funny as you would expect no support to be equal droopy boobs. I stand corrected and appreciate you posting that for me.

OP posts:
proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 13:39

Thank you for your kindness springlamb, it has been much appreciated amongst the other comments. Your comment about Janet Reger made me smile. x

OP posts:
GraysAnalogy · 23/07/2015 13:43

Rude and judgmental? Okay, I'm sorry if thats the way you feel. I admit I am very straight forward in the way I type and it doesn't come across well sometimes. My point is you're going to give her issues over this if you carry on the way you're going and I'm sure that's now what you want. I can't believe you threatened her with the doctor. You say you're not forcing her, but it seems like you're using a lot of emotional tools to try and get her to wear one.

I just want to reiterate that I don't think your daughter has a problem at all, or can't cope with the idea of body growth as your title says. She's just a girl going through a tough time physically and it must be difficult to have your mum constantly reminding you. It's her body, let her just grow and support her when she needs you. And I promise you she will need you and will want all your advice and knowledge then. But carrying on this way will push her away. Perhaps just buy a few different types (support vests and such too) and pop them in her drawers. That way she can try them on in her own time, decide to wear them on her own terms.

Fauchelevent · 23/07/2015 13:53

Sorry OP but I do agree with others. A lot of girls I know had major bra issues at that age and I definitely wasn't the only one who cried at a bra fitting - I think we don't realise that other girls are wearing them too!

Please don't keep addressing it or forcing her into anything. She's okay, I promise. It tends to go that girls are super sensitive about periods and bras at first but after a while they grow out of it and it's a part of life, so give her time and don't worry about how "unflattering" it looks. She's fine and it might not do you any favours to keep telling her she isn't. Best thing to do is be prepared with bras (and probably pads) and wait until she realises they're not scary which will be very very soon.

BabyGanoush · 23/07/2015 14:02

Sorry OP, but from your comments and obsession with bodies, and how change (and how other girls look) and scrutinising her for change, I would say you are the oen with body issues?

Sorry if that's a bit brutal.

You need to step back a bit, it must be hard for her to grow up with you so on top of her every blackhead, boobies change etc.

GraysAnalogy · 23/07/2015 14:05

just to add my post should say 'NOT' what you want not 'now'

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 14:12

Thank you Fauchelevent for your kind words and gentle honesty, and reassurance. You don't know how much I appreciate that right now.

It has been hard because all of her friends are wearing them and have been for a while. When she started wearing her crop top, they all pointed it out and she hated it which did not help. I reassured her they probably were liking the design (as one girl asked her where she had got them from). She did admit to me afterwards that she wanted to attempt to wear one for a while (before I had even started feeling strongly about it) but was too scared so this is not all my fault!!! In turn, that made me feel bad that she could not approach me with it sooner. But as you say, kids are embarrassed so don't approach parents initially. I obviously brought it to the fore a bit too soon and a bit intensely, whereas what I should have done was to bite my tongue and let her come to me. She has always come to me with everything else, I guess it never occurred to me this would be any different but I am still learning how to parent a pre-teen. Since she turned 11 she has changed a lot and it is hard to know what to do for best. I will definitely take on board what you have said. As you say, the more you go on the kids resist. I am not obsessive just over worried but I will no longer mention it unless she does. Every day is a learning curve for us parents isnt it?

As I said, I make mistakes every day as a parent, I can only try to do my best. It might not be what everyone else considers best but I cannot help that. I just felt a little disappointed to be judged by some of you. None of us are perfect parents and we all make mistakes. Clearly I have approached this particular situation wrong but doesn't mean I don't love my daughter or want her to be happy with herself, neither am I cruel!

I am not very confident at all in parenting especially as I am a single mum whereas none of my friends are. Some don't realise how difficult it can be especially with issues like this and I am fully aware I get things completely wrong. Her Dad is great and fully involved but bras/boobs etc are just off topic naturally.

I just try to remember that there are some things I do get right - not sure I can think of any at this minute though lol x

OP posts:
bishboschone · 23/07/2015 14:17

My dd is the same .. I'm leaving her to it .. A lot of her friends have boobs whereas she has nothing yet .. I'll get her some top tips over the summer holidays ready for secondary school.. Just chill out then Mayen she will .

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 14:23

My DD has had a far easier time at primary school than I ever did for which I am forever grateful. I have always worried that she will suffer like I did, the mental scars of which I still carry now. She has always been happy in herself from a young age so it was a shock to suddenly find her not so I think I went into a bit of over reaction / panic mode and over worrying mode when there probably was no reason to.

Reading back my post I can see how some of you think I am the most awful mother on the planet but I am really not. I just haven't deal with this particular issue as well I could have done.

I have taken some of your kind comments on board for sure and will do my best from here on to deal with it better x

OP posts:
proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 14:25

Thank you bishboschone....I need to practice being more laid back for sure, it's not in my genes, I never have been but know I need to try a bit harder x

OP posts:
insanityscatching · 23/07/2015 14:32

My dd has autism and so any sort of change is difficult for her not least the changes that come from puberty. Dd started puberty reasonably early but she wasn't ready to wear a bra and in fact only wore crop tops on the days she did PE. It's only in the last couple of months she has decided to wear a bra (she's 12 now), probably a year later than I bought them for her, but it had to be her choice. I bought training bras from BHS and they aren't noticeable or uncomfortable and so dd agreed she'd try them and has worn them ever since. Dd has a ladyshave because she really doesn't like hair anywhere and I consider it her choice. She has started her periods and coped far better than I would ever have hoped tbh.
I think you need to back off I know from dd if I had made a big thing of it her anxiety would have got enormous and she would have resisted bras for much longer. Put a choice of underwear in her drawers and let her choose for herself what to wear and when would be my thoughts.

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 14:39

Thanks insanityscatching :) bless your daughter.

I was thinking of buying her a ladyshave although she said she would prefer hair removal as razor thingies make her nervous! She has obviously watched me shave legs and arms but said she is worried when she does do it she will cut herself. Is there a specific ladyshave you bought for her?

I guess also I was late into all this as think I was about 13 when all this sort of thing started to me but these days girls are starting periods etc a lot younger. It is a scary time x

OP posts:
Rosieliveson · 23/07/2015 14:44

I'm not sure about the body issues. I don't know whether this is something to worry about or not as I am a mum to a toddler boy.

However, I did start to need a bra at the end of primary. My mum just noticed and took me for one and that was that. However, if your daughter is resistant to the idea or perhaps feels a bit embarrassed (could be linked to boys at school 'looking' or getting interested in boobs), could you go and buy a few styles (trainer, crop, support best, sports) in a few colours and just tell her she can try them in privacy, if she feels like it. Give her a week or so to do so at her own pace and tell her that after a week, anything put back in the bag will be returned. No discussion. No hassle. No pressure. You could try this every now and again until she keeps one or she simply tells you that she is ready.

As for her legs, I think hair removal is important if she feels it is. I think young girls need some autonomy over the way their bodies are changing but understand you may be uncomfortable with creams or razors at a young age. My mum didn't like the idea of me shaving and so I used hair removal mitts. They are small pads that you move in small circles and they brush the hair off. I had a nice moisturiser for afterwards. I used them until I was about 13 and the hair really took off. I upgraded to a ladyshave then. I think, by supporting her in this, you are less likely to discover she has tried it alone and left he cream on too long or dry shaved without realising.

Hope this helps Grin

Loveleopardprint · 23/07/2015 14:49

Hi. My DD is 12 and I am not even allowed to talk about cup sizes in the bra fitting room!!

Could you just leave it over the summer and then when you are getting her new school uniform just ask casually if she needs a couple of bras?

Or does she have an older cousin/friend who could take her for a girly shop/talk?

Or could you order a couple from a catalogue for her to try on at home so it less intimidating?

Just some ideas. Wink

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 15:10

Hi Rosie thank you. I have decided after reading posts to leave it now as I really do not want to push my daughter away or make her feel more self conscious than I obviously have done. I forgot about hair removal mitts, I think she would like them to use. I will ask her if she wants to go and choose some from the shops. I think I shaved my legs way too soon when I was younger and they grew back darker so I was mortified lol As my daughter has fair blonde hair they don't show so just did not want her to shave unecessarily but as you say, if it is making her feel uncomfortable I will of course let her shave. Regarding the bras, she just doesn't want boobs full stop and sees wearing a bra as them being shown off. It is like she only associates them with being a show off thing (I've never shown mine off so not sure how she has come to that conclusion but having loads of boy cousins who probably mention boobs it is amazing what conclusions they can draw).

Loveleopard - her friends talk about bras to her but she is not interested. She is the counsellor to everyone about everything as she does not do the boys, makeup etc. I often hear her on FT giving advice to her friends on boys; it makes me chuckle. She said boys are too much drama and she hasn't got time for that!!! Needless to say her Dad is happy with that!!! I will leave it now, she knows there is a proper bra in draw so up to her if and when she decides to try it. As one of the posters has already said, in her own time she will try it.

Growing up I think my mum bless her made a lot of decisions for me whereas perhaps she should have let me do it alone but again, times were different. I have always tried to be different to my mum but seems on this occasion her way is creeping into me which then I am inflicting on my daughter. I am so relaxed about most things yet this issue I seem to be way too uptight with! x

OP posts:
insanityscatching · 23/07/2015 15:58

Dd has this one although it was cheaper on Amazon when I bought it. It seems to do the job and dd is happy with it and of course no nicks or cuts either.
Dd has an older sister who couldn't wait to get a bra and wanted to grow up quickly it'sbeen a steep learning curve to realise dd2 is totally different.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.