Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Preteen Daughter Needs a Bra

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.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was scheduled to have lunch with a dear friend I haven’t seen in person for a year when she bowed out, saying that she couldn’t tear herself away from the impeachment hearings in order to meet with me.

I do believe it’s important to stay abreast of current events -- especially something as important as this topic is for our country -- but I feel like my friend is getting absorbed in the drama of the news cycle and all the craziness that is happening these days. In the midst of all of this, I think we should still live our lives and spend time with our loved ones. I was upset that she bailed on me in order to watch this. -- Blinded by Politics

DEAR BLINDED BY POLITICS: It is good that your friend feels it is important to stay on top of current events. It is not good that she is stalling her life in order to do so. This is why technology is important. Many TVs or cable and streaming services allow you to save programs to watch when you are ready. You should recommend this to your friend for next time. Make it clear that your feelings were hurt that she dumped you for this event. Suggest that keeping her plans with you is also important for her life.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)