Talking Bras with My Four Year Old

by Melanie Edwards on November 29, 2010 · 5 comments

in a different perspective, Baby Girl, Parenting

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Beginner Bras

Mommy, you know there are bras for little girls too?

Well, not for little girls like you, but older little girls, yeah.

Like for 5 year olds? (Mind you, she turns 5 next month and apparently the world is going to drastically change when she’s 5 – she’ll officially be a big girl that can do any.thing. So she thinks.)

No, not for 5 year olds. Older girls. Like 10 maybe.

Nuh uh! [classmate’s name] had a bra on when she was 3!

Are you sure it was a bra sweetie? Maybe it was an undershirt, like the ones you sometimes wear.

Noooo. It was a bra.

How do you know it was a bra? Did you see it?

Yes, she showed it to me.

Well, baby, even if she did, you’re not going to wear a bra until you need to – when you start growing breasts. That’s when mommy started wearing a bra.

Awww…I wish I could wear a bra.

Baby girl, don’t rush it. Enjoy being a 5 year old and not having to worry about that. When the time comes, you’ll wear a bra. Your body knows when it’s supposed to grow and when things are supposed to happen. Don’t rush things, ok?

Ok, mommy.

So went our conversation a few mornings ago. I’m not sure if her classmate really did have a bra on or not – I would hope not, since there’s no reason – but, somehow my not-even 5-year-old got the idea in her head that she needed a bra. I know she sees them in the stores too as we shop for her clothes and nowadays they look really pretty. I cringe every time I see a padded beginner’s bra. Why does a 10 year old just starting to develop and wear a bra need padding again? Aside from the padding, the bras in the little girls’ section are definitely much prettier than the ones around when I went through the ritual of picking my first bra. I definitely get why they are enticing for my girl.

Still, I can’t help but think of what else is coming my way. Did I ask my mother such questions at such a young age? What other questions will I have to answer within the next year and especially when she begins kindergarten?

I am not shying away from such conversations, but it would be helpful if I could peek into her little brain and know ahead of time so that I can prepare myself. It would also help if she waited until after I’ve had breakfast and fully woken up before she springs such heavy conversation on me.

If you have a little girl, at what age did she start asking about bras? What other questions have you fielded from your young children already?

[photo credit: Glamcheck]

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Latinaish November 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Wow – you handled this well. It’s probably cliche at this point for a mother of boys to say “I’m glad I have boys” when this type of discussion comes up, but it’s so true. Raising a girl seems infinitely more complex. I would want to raise her to be confident and well-adjusted, but to enjoy childhood first – and in today’s culture, that is no easy feat. (Of course, I’m trying to do my part by raising young men who respect women, but I think I have the easier task here.)

I don’t remember ever having an interest in wearing a bra. In fact, when my mother made me start wearing a training bra, I cried. I hated it and she constantly had to tell me to go put it on. I felt humiliated.

I was a tomboy though, and I imagine it’s more difficult to raise a little girl who prefers to be more feminine since she will be much more keen on growing up too quickly and being allowed to wear things like bras, makeup, high heels, etc.

Anyway, good job, Melanie. Sounds like you have it under control for now! 🙂


modernmami November 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Doesn’t raising boys require an entirely different level of discussions,
learning lessons, etc.? I guess I will soon find out. But, yes, I too don’t
remember showing an interest in bras so early and pretty much remember most
of my friends and I dreading that first bra shopping trip. Thanks for the
vote of confidence!


Lucilla Feliciano November 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Our mom and daughter conversations used to happen when mom was bathing. It was private and the other family members couldn’t hear what the topic of conversation. I remember my mother always saying, “Can’t I take a shower in peace?” after we would finish our conversations. It is never too young to have these conversations. My dad who is traditional in his thinking, doesn’t agree that my sisters and I share lots of information with my nephews at any given moment. I would say any moment is a teaching moment even if it is before breakfast.


modernmami November 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I was honestly joking about waiting until after breakfast. Of course, you
can’t control when your child has a thought and inquires, requiring you to
drop everything and deal with the situation in the moment – otherwise you
risk losing a great teaching/parenting opportunity. It would be nice,
though, if they could wait. 😉 You know, my answers may just be better. LOL


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