DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is 10 years old, and she is already developing like a teenager. I am torn as to how to deal with this. When I was growing up, my mother made me wear undershirts until I was a teenager. She said that a nice girl shouldn’t wear a bra until she is a teen. My daughter clearly needs to wear a bra. Without one, she is actually drawing more attention to her body than if she had more control of her budding breasts. I feel like I should get her fitted for a bra, but I keep hearing my mother’s voice in my head. How can I reconcile this and support my child? -- Growing Pains
DEAR GROWING PAINS: It is time for you to listen to your own voice. Your instincts are telling you the right thing. Your child needs support for the body she is in, not the one you wish she inhabited. Keeping your mother’s sentiments in mind, you can be sure to get her “appropriate” bras.
There are bras designed for teens, including many without underwire, which you should choose for health reasons as well as presentation reasons. Look for sports bras that provide support without glamorizing. Avoid push-up bras or those marketed as “sexy.” Take her to a store where a knowledgeable salesperson can help you make smart decisions. Be upbeat when you talk to your daughter. She is likely uncomfortable and possibly confused by the changes in her body. The way you respond to her will make all the difference in how she embraces the woman she is becoming.