Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 9 1/2 and 7
Problem: My fourth grader believes she needs a bra before school starts. She does not have any buds, but claims all her friends are going to have them. At what age are girls starting to wear bras? Should I request that she wait until she physically needs one or buy her one now?
Solution submitted by Susan from San Pedro, CA: My youngest daughter wanted to start wearing a bra when she was in 4th grade. Her older sister had worn one for a year or so and she WANTED to wear one - so I took her shopping and we found one that she liked. I only bought ONE to try. Well, she felt all grown up and mature when she walked out of that store! She wore it the rest of the day while she played with the other kids but she was constantly playing with the shoulder straps and because she had nothing to fill it, it rode up and she was constantly pulling it down. She wore it for a few more days but then she came to me and said that it was more work than it was worth so she asked if she could stop wearing it. I told her that I would wash it and she could keep it and wear it whenever she wanted to. I don't think I saw her wear it more than a couple times until she was 11 1/2 and she started to develop. She is now 14 and wears one all the time (she NEEDS one now!). Keep the communication channel open and use this time to get close to your daughter. I think it cost me $10 to buy that one bra that she wore a couple times. Well worth it!
Another solution submitted by Amber: I am a 13/f In 6th grade I wasn't wearing a bra. I was probably a year older than your daughter since I should have been in 5th grade then. In gym I had to get changed and I wasn't wearing a bra and everyone made fun of me (even though I didn't need one; but your daughter, who is in forth grade is a different story. I was one of the few girls who didn't want to wear a bra, but many girls wanted to feel more mature. If she wants a bra, get her one. If she likes wearing it, good, she'll get used to it for the future. If she doesn't like it, fine, she doesn't have to commit to wearing one. I suggest not to buy a lot of bras, but to buy one or two just in case she gets out of this bra phase.
Another solution submitted by KA from Falling Waters, WV: Would your daughter consider wearing one of the "sport bra" type bras? I know Gitano makes one that Wal-Mart sells for a pretty reasonable price, & it doesn't really matter if there's nothing to fill it out :) It made my younger daughter more comfortable when she was in 4th grade!
Another solution submitted by Stacy from Columbia, Missouri: I wouldn't hesitate at all in buying a "bra" for my 4th grade daughter. I would buy one that is more of a tank top bra or possibly a matching underpant and "bra" kids set. Some of these have movie characters on them, etc. This allows a child to feel part of a group even if she is not developing. I think back to myself as a young person who developed late in life. If my mother had done this for me, then I would have felt that I was "fitting in" better with my peer group.
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