Bropping: When to Take Your Tween Bra Shopping

Sheri Reed

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$15.90; Justice
Enjoyed reading this first-time bra shopping essay "Bropping" by Heather Cori over on Literary Mama today. As mom to two boys, I will never have the pleasure of bra shopping with one of my kids (sob!), but wow, the memories of bra wishing and first bras come barreling back when I read Heather's piece.

The essay also reminded me that girls, because they come in all shapes and sizes and breast development timelines, often fall into two tricky categories when it comes to bras: the girls who desperately want a bra but don't "need" one yet, and the girls who desperately "need" a bra but don't *want* to wear one yet.

When I was in sixth grade, I was pretty obsessed with five things: nylons, deodorant, maxi pads, lady razors, and bras! Seems weird now, but I seriously thought about and pined away in my diary regularly over these girly "coming of age" things I had only learned about in sex ed and read about in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Some of my friends' moms allowed or introduced these items early on (like in fifth grade!!!). "Here, honey, this is deodorant and these are maxi pads -- for when you become a woman." Even though my friends acted mortified, oh how I wanted these things to magically appear in my top drawer or pushed all the way back in the bottom cupboard in the bathroom.

My mom's own mom was a bit prudish and didn't do a very good job at training her on these things, so while she rocked in many ways, she was a little "slow" on the draw for discussing or introducing the "young lady essentials."

The first time I wore a bra, it was a hand-me-down from a friend of the family. It was soft, baby blue, and dreamy ... *sigh* I sneaked it on under a sweater before a family party and smiled in the mirror. Practically invisible and my little secret, I thought. Not one hour later, while I was putting crackers on a cheese plate, my sweet grandma (yep, the prudish one) walked up behind me and rested her hand on my back. Then she said (god no, god no, please don't let her say it, please no!!!), "Oh, I didn't know you were wearing one of these now."

I died right there. With crackers half out of a box. I died. And then quickly, as soon as I could, I ducked into my room and removed the dang bra and pushed it way down into the bag of hand-me-downs in the back of my closet.

This is where it can get tricky for moms, I suppose. Dang it, I wanted with all my heart to finally wear a bra, but I didn't want it to be a big production. I didn't really want to TALK ABOUT IT.

So while some of you moms of tweens with earlier-developing girls are probably nagging your daughters daily to "get back in your room and put on a bra!" others of you with girls who haven't quite bloomed yet might not have thought about talking bras yet. Maybe your daughter is more evolved than I was (and spends her time pontificating about more important things), but you might want to bring it up. Lightly. Don't go on and on about it if she doesn't want to. But just remember, she might be wondering and waiting for you to bring it up.

If you're not sure where to start, here are some great suggestions for buying training bras.

It's funny. At my house, while we're not talking about bras, my boys and I are talking about body parts and feelings and functions and other things. I find I really don't mind. In fact, I really like it. Maybe too much. Gotta be careful. I'm so happy to discuss and answer the "tough questions." Maybe it's because so many of my own questions weren't drawn out of me and answered.

Have you gone "bropping" (bra shopping) yet? Was it your idea or your tween's?

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