My 11-Year-Old Won’t Wear A Bra

Your daughter is experiencing a lot of new feelings and changes during adolescence. Her body is developing and she might not be too happy about it. She’s probably a little on edge about having to change what she wears to accommodate her developing body. Some of her clothes won’t fit her or look the same anymore, this could be a big deal to your daughter. There are many reasons your 11-year-old won’t wear a bra. Bras are annoying and can be quite uncomfortable as well. It’s just one more thing to have to put on in the morning. They require some getting used to. It’s a routine she will have to eventually get used to if she needs a bra for breast support. 

Talk With Your 11-Year-Old About Wearing Bras

Your daughter is starting to become a woman. She’s feeling a lot of pressure to grow up, which she may not be ready for yet. Just because her body is changing and growing physically, doesn’t mean she is mentally maturing at the same rate. She is probably scared of having to give up some of her “kid” hobbies. She doesn’t have to give up her childhood just because she wears a bra, she’s still a kid. You don’t expect her to be an adult just because she needs to put on a bra.

Your daughter could be shy and self-conscious about her changing appearance and the new physical development she’s experiencing could be annoying her. She could be facing humiliation or unwanted attention from her peers. Open up general conversations about the messages we send with the clothing we wear. Unfortunately, people can make unfair assessments of you based on what they see you wearing. You should dress the way you want to be seen.

You don’t want to hinder her self-confidence or mess with her comfort level. Her body is already changing rapidly beyond her control. Now you’re telling her she has to wear a bra for this problem… It’s probably a bit stressful for her to deal with. Assure your daughter that she is gorgeous no matter what and boost her self-esteem whenever you can. Her heart and soul are what make her a true beauty, not what she’s wearing or not wearing.

Try To Make Finding A Bra Fun 

Turn talking about bras into a little shopping day trip. Take her to a few different stores, maybe the mall, and out to lunch. If she isn’t comfortable being measured by a saleswoman, take a few measurements at home to help with choosing sizes before you go. Find a nice store that has lots of fun styles and colors for her to choose from. Let her browse thoroughly and take her time. Remind her that size and comfort are just as important as style. If you think your daughter is being shy with you, maybe another adult she trusts could take her shopping. That could make her feel more comfortable. 

Try to respect your daughter’s comfort level. She could be very embarrassed about having to shop for a bra. If she’s self-conscious about it you could always try looking at some catalogs at home first or just shop online with her. Start with trying what she’s comfortable with. You could suggest undershirts or a sports bra if she refuses to try a training or regular bra. There are many strapless bra options out there as well. She could also try wearing heavier shirts or breast petals to help. Vests are another versatile option that could help her cover up.

See what your daughter thinks about her development. Does she want to accentuate or hide her new growth? There are options to suit whatever look she’s looking for. Some bras can help flatten the breasts. Training bras are pretty minimal and they just cover the basics. There are padded and cup bras for a little added shape. Don’t be so serious and try to have some fun while helping her find the best bra for her. If she picks the bra out herself, she will be more likely to want to wear it.

Also, if you are comfortable enough with your daughter, try on some of your bras in front of her. An 11-year-old is more likely to wear a bra if she sees her mom wearing one. Show her the different designs you have and which is your favorite.

My 11 Year Old Won’t Wear A Bra

Be Supportive, Not Overbearing

Your daughter may be using her clothes, or lack thereof, to express herself and rebel against the norm. Try not to respond to it too much. She will likely go through several phases, changing the way she dresses. Considering that her ideas are probably evolving constantly, some relief comes with knowing that this is probably going to be a short-term argument. Listen to how she feels about wearing a bra and make an effort to understand her point of view. You can give her advice and try to guide her, but don’t be a tyrant about it. 

Don’t force her to wear a bra or push her too hard. You’re not trying to make her feel judged or uncomfortable about her body. If she is embarrassed about it, try buying colors that will conceal her bra by blending in with her clothes If she plays sports, talk about proper breast support during physical activity. When being active, running, and jumping a good sports bra is a necessity. 

Being strong-willed is another reason she might be avoiding a bra. She may see wearing a bra as a social constraint that she would rather not conform to. Maybe your daughter doesn’t want society’s definition of what’s acceptable to control what she wants to wear. Wearing a bra is more about making the people around her feel more comfortable than about her being comfortable with herself.

Wearing a bra is not something your daughter has to do.

Be Honest Without Hurting Her Feelings

Give your daughter some information to reflect on. Tell her why you think she should wear a bra. Let her know that her physical development is obvious and you just don’t want her sending the wrong message with her clothes. She could attract unwanted attention from her peers at school. Creeps could stare at her and try to harass her sexually if they see an opportunity.

Women should be able to wear whatever they like and not be judged or targeted. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the reality. Let her know that you’re not judging her for not wearing a bra, you just want her to be prepared. Though the ugliness of society isn’t her cross to bear, you don’t want her to end up getting sexually harassed. 

You want her to look neat and tidy. She might not care about her appearance. Have her look in the mirror wearing the same shirt with a bra underneath, then without one. Find out if she’s ok with that look or if she just hasn’t paid much attention. The visual comparison may be enough for her to see for herself that she needs a bra. You want her to take pride in her appearance. You shouldn’t force her to wear a bra but you’re giving her your honest opinion. 

When your little girl is starting to grow up it can be difficult for you both to cope with. Her body is changing rapidly, she may be confused. Your daughter could be having a hard time accepting all of the changes she’s facing. Don’t be pushy with her about wearing a bra. You will just become another stressor for her by nagging. All you can do is talk with her about it, buy her a few bras, and be patient with her as she goes through this transition. Be supportive of her feelings and approach the subject as gently as possible.