It seems that this moment in a parent’s life is coming earlier and earlier with each new generation of kids. Blame it on the hormones in milk, meat or whatever you want, this can be an uncomfortable moment for both child and parent. Buying your daughter her first bra ranks right up there with sending them off to school for the first time you don’t want to do it; but you have to!
Obviously it is usually easier for the mom to be the one to take this bull by the horns. And the truth is the sooner the better. Just because you don’t want to admit that your little girl is growing up does not mean you should put her through the embarrassment of showing up to school without a bra; when she in fact needs one. Certainly at home going without may be just fine and a girl this age is likely to find big t-shirts or other clothes she can hide under but school is a different story. Don’t think for a minute that the boys and girls in her class are too young notice; they do and she will get teased! When you notice the changes it truly is time to go out on a girl’s day shopping!
Rule number 1 is probably to visit stores that are in another city. You don’t have to drive hours away; but showing up at the local Wal-Mart where you and her are liable to run into school mates or friends will only embarrass a girl this age. Drive an extra few miles so this can occur in private. Also, don’t make dad, brothers or other family members wait in the car. This is not a public shopping adventure. The next rule is to let them pick what they want to wear out but remember that you are the expert. The polka dotted heart print bra is absolutely adorable but YOU know that under their clothes it will show through and instead of being cute will look trashy.
Prepare your self for the trying on as well. Some parents make this event into an ordeal and take their kids to professionally fit at the local Victoria’s Secret. Don’t bother; chances are that in the beginning your little girl will wad it up in a ball as soon as she gets in the car after school because of the discomfort they cause. The $5 bras are just fine. Don’t make them endure under wire or excessively padded bras either. Training bras or even sports bras will work just fine. After all, you are just trying to cover up their changing anatomy which at this state in the game doesn’t really look like boobs anyway.
Your conversation should be light and fun. Don’t laugh when they don’t know how to do or undo the bra and make sure that you remain patient. When buying your daughter her first bra she will be edgy, fidgety and probably grimace at how awful and binding they feel. Yes, you know all too well! Finding something comfortable can be hard but once you do; let her try her shirt on over it. She will see how much better she looks and may even be a tad proud of her blossoming body.
When you get home from shopping this is one of those times you don’t dump the bags out on the living room floor to show dad. First of all, he doesn’t want to know and secondly your daughter doesn’t want to talk about it; especially with her father. In the beginning most girls at this stage will try to shy away from dad and simple gestures like hugs or back rubs will cause her to shriek away. Why? She doesn’t want dad to know she is wearing a bra. Depending on your family dynamic and relationship; Dad’s job is either to pretend he doesn’t notice a thing or lighten the mood by trying a bra on himself. If the latter will go over well with your daughter it could be the perfect ice breaker. As much as kids say they can’t wait to grow up; when they are in the midst of it it is absolutely awkward for them. There is much they don’t understand and they worry that all this growing up will make their parents feel differently about them. When it comes to the girly things; a lot of daughters worry that dad will feel weird throwing softballs in the backyard now just because they are wearing a bra! Time takes care of all of this (might make it worse) but takes care of it none the less. Keep the entire bra thing a non-issue!
Probably the last bit of advice is to feel free to cry those last tears of realization that indeed your baby is no more. Do it in private and don’t sappy comments in front of your poor daughter who not only has to deal with hair in all the wrong places, but the new irritation of wearing a bra as well. Her life is stressful enough. When you are done with your tears; just be glad that you were there for her and that you have tied yet another knot in the ropes that hold you and her together. Yes, she is growing up and soon you will be discussing much bigger issues than bras and arm pit shaving! But at least you are going through this together. Life with children never stays the same. Just yesterday you were wondering whether or not they would ever sleep through the night and today you are trying to devise new ways to get them to wake up in the mornings! Take each rung of this ladder slowly, carefully and with gratitude! Buying your daughter her first bra is just one of those things in life that can’t be avoided!