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  • FIRST POST
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 8:44 AM
    • 2,444Posts
    • 8,828Thanks
    Oakdene
    Single Dad needing advice....
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 8:44 AM
    Single Dad needing advice.... 10th May 18 at 8:44 AM
    As some of you will know, I am a full time single Dad to my 13 year old daughter who was kicked out by her Mum (after our divorce) due to her not getting on with her Mums new partner. They still don't get on as a Mum & daughter should. We are incredibly close, as I am with my son who still lives with his Mum (same Mum as his sister). Anyways...

    My daughter started her periods quite early, I think it was just before she was 11 & she has developed more than her the majority of her main circle of friends, but being an August baby she is the youngest of her circle & certainly one of the youngest of her year.

    She has always had long hair down her back & she surprised me earlier this year when she asked if she could have it cut short to something like this http://pophaircuts.com/images/2012/11/Emma-Watson-Cute-Short-Straight-Haircuts.jpg so once I was sure she wanted this I said ok. She has kept it short & I think it does look nice as I have grown to like it.

    However yesterday I gave her a cwtch & as I placed my arm on her back I could feel like a lump, I asked her what it was & she panicked & said it was nothing. I knew from her reaction that it was something & I asked her again what it was. She told me it was a bandage. Horrified I asked what had happened, was she injured? She said she wasn't hurt or anything. I asked her to take it off, so she went to her room & took it off & brought it back to me. I asked her why she was wearing it & eventually she told me she did it to flatten her breasts down. I was flabbergasted & asked her why she would do such a thing (not somethingI have encountered before apart from ノponine in Les Mis!rables). She didn't answer, so we sat & spoke for a while & I tried to probe by asking different questions but the only thing she said was it was because she feels more developed than her friends.

    She is doing well in school & has worked hard to get to the top set of all her subjects, she is excelling in English (I have been told by her teacher how well she is doing), so there isn't an issue with her academic work.

    I feel upset that she felt she couldn't or wouldn't talk to me but am looking for advice on why she would do this or how I can help as I feel a little useless as a single Dad...
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


Page 2
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 10:35 AM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    I have to be honest this was my first thought too, maybe because like you I know someone this has happened to recently.

    Does she make any other attempts to look more 'boyish' such as in what she chooses to wear?

    If this is the case I don't think there is anything else you can do. She'll discuss it when shes ready, all you can really do is be there, listen and make it clear it won't be a problem.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    She dressed in shorts/jeans/leggings with normal girls tops. She isn't a girly girl in the sense of she plies her face with makeup...
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 10th May 18, 10:42 AM
    • 5,310 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Regardless of what it is I guess it's important to stress that normal body development is nothing to be ashamed of and make it clear her friends will catch up with her and probably be asking her for advice once they do. Also make it clear you're always there for her and support her life choices. It might also be an idea to say that you understand if she'd rather discuss female issues with another female and won't be upset if she does, but you're there if she wants to talk to you.

    For the record you sound like a great dad, she's very lucky to have you.
    • mangog
    • By mangog 10th May 18, 11:11 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    mangog
    Oh gosh, I really feel for her! As someone who developed enormous boobs aged 11 I totally understand her motivation. If binders had been something I had access to at that age I would have done the same thing, simply because of the unwanted attention they draw from EVERYONE. Just constant comments from people - even friends who thought they were paying me a compliment. It just gave me a huge complex which I'm still struggling with aged 33 (partly because people STILL insist on "complimenting" me on my chest, as if I had something to do with it).

    The thing that would have helped me at 13 would have been a complete overhaul of society and how it views women's bodies. However as that's sadly outside of your control, perhaps the best thing to do is to just keep supporting her and appreciating her for who she is - her personality, her interests, her sense of humour, her opinions - basically all the things that make her who she is *outside* of her physical appearance. Society focuses so much on women's appearance and it's easy to lose confidence in yourself under the weight of everyone else's opinions on the way you look, especially at that age. I think it's absolutely invaluable to have someone on your side who values the things that aren't physical to balance it out. Just keep reminding her that she's awesome!
    • Blondetotty
    • By Blondetotty 10th May 18, 11:17 AM
    • 187 Posts
    • 187 Thanks
    Blondetotty
    For the record you sound like a great dad, she's very lucky to have you.
    Originally posted by Gavin83

    Exactly my thoughts.
  • archived user
    but as you say she may well be exploring her sexuality which is something I have no issue with at all.
    Originally posted by Oakdene
    In that case i would say youve done as much as you can do. Youve told her you will love her whatever her sexuality you cant do any more than that.

    I went through the same with my daughter.

    You will both get through it.
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 11:37 AM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    Regardless of what it is I guess it's important to stress that normal body development is nothing to be ashamed of and make it clear her friends will catch up with her and probably be asking her for advice once they do. Also make it clear you're always there for her and support her life choices. It might also be an idea to say that you understand if she'd rather discuss female issues with another female and won't be upset if she does, but you're there if she wants to talk to you.

    For the record you sound like a great dad, she's very lucky to have you.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Thank you, that's incredibly kind of you. We do have a great relationship & I hope it will always be this way. I'm hoping that she will clear her head in the future & if there is any issues or thoughts she will share them.

    Oh gosh, I really feel for her! As someone who developed enormous boobs aged 11 I totally understand her motivation. If binders had been something I had access to at that age I would have done the same thing, simply because of the unwanted attention they draw from EVERYONE. Just constant comments from people - even friends who thought they were paying me a compliment. It just gave me a huge complex which I'm still struggling with aged 33 (partly because people STILL insist on "complimenting" me on my chest, as if I had something to do with it).

    The thing that would have helped me at 13 would have been a complete overhaul of society and how it views women's bodies. However as that's sadly outside of your control, perhaps the best thing to do is to just keep supporting her and appreciating her for who she is - her personality, her interests, her sense of humour, her opinions - basically all the things that make her who she is *outside* of her physical appearance. Society focuses so much on women's appearance and it's easy to lose confidence in yourself under the weight of everyone else's opinions on the way you look, especially at that age. I think it's absolutely invaluable to have someone on your side who values the things that aren't physical to balance it out. Just keep reminding her that she's awesome!
    Originally posted by mangog
    This is something I have been thinking about, especially with so much body imaging sharing on social media. As you say there isn't much I can do apart from reassure her when I can. As someone who has self confidence issues, I do try to share with her what I felt & still feel these days...
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 10th May 18, 11:42 AM
    • 5,712 Posts
    • 26,251 Thanks
    thorsoak
    I hope that what I am suggesting is completely erroneous - but how interested has mum's partner been in your daughter? Is he more "interested" in her as she grows up? Could this be the reason?

    I'm not sure how you could explore this sensitively - but you do have a good relationship with her.
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 11:52 AM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    I hope that what I am suggesting is completely erroneous - but how interested has mum's partner been in your daughter? Is he more "interested" in her as she grows up? Could this be the reason?

    I'm not sure how you could explore this sensitively - but you do have a good relationship with her.
    Originally posted by thorsoak
    This isn't something that I have thought of, & to be honest I wouldn't be able to tell you. I don't think anything like that could be the issue, given that she is doing this in school when she won't see Mums partner if that makes sense?
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • efes shareholder
    • By efes shareholder 10th May 18, 11:55 AM
    • 273 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    efes shareholder
    I was very similar to your daughter , I started my periods at 9 and needed a bra by 10
    I hated it ! I was self conscience and as you start secondary school and your peers are also starting to develop , you will find that your figure is referred to regulary and that the boys will give you a nickname based on your bust !
    Growing up , it sucked being the first or the last to develop

    I took my daughters to marks and spencer for the measuring service - its important that they have a decent supportive bra

    I'm 45 now and those breasts I grew at 10 seem to be stuck at the size I was when I as 12 !!! How I wish I was buxom now !
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 10th May 18, 12:05 PM
    • 1,750 Posts
    • 7,128 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    I would be careful that you don't confuse how she identifies gender wise with her sexual orientation. You could want to be more masculine in appearance but still like males, for example.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 」105.13/ 」150
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 12:07 PM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    I would be careful that you don't confuse how she identifies gender wise with her sexual orientation. You could want to be more masculine in appearance but still like males, for example.
    Originally posted by BrassicWoman
    If I am honest, I haven't thought that but will make sure that I don't find myself thinking that too.
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 10th May 18, 12:31 PM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    I would just like to thank everyone that has posted replies on here, I was panicking all night & this morning but feel more relived now
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 10th May 18, 5:06 PM
    • 24,638 Posts
    • 64,407 Thanks
    pollypenny
    I would say, if any, her English teacher but only because she seems to be the teacher she talks about mostly. Her work in English has gone from level 5 to level 8 in this academic year alone. Do you think perhaps I should ask to speak to the teacher?
    Originally posted by Oakdene


    Can稚 do any harm. I have had a number of pupils confide in me or simply ask advice.

    As English is a subject where issues and relationships are continually discussed, through literature, we are often seen as approachable.

    Otherwise, do you have any very good neighbours or friends whom she might trust?
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 10th May 18, 5:41 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 1,146 Thanks
    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    My niece was going through the opposite situation to your daughter. She is very small compared to the other girls in her class and they all started treating her differently as they had all started their periods but she hadn't. To be honest I think kids will always pick out things that are different about someone. It doesn't always go as far as bullying but they can do enough to make that person uncomfortable.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 10th May 18, 6:18 PM
    • 16,938 Posts
    • 41,811 Thanks
    FBaby
    When I was that age, I was very close friend with two girls (not friends with each other). One was massively self-conscious because her breasts were very developed whilst the other was very anxious at the fact that she was flat as a pancake. Either would have given anything to have what the other had!

    In both cases, they grew out of it. The one with the larger breasts realised that it was a bad feature to have, the other accepted that she was the way she was and that it didn't stop her having boyfriends.

    You're doing the right thing by talking to her but don't make a big deal out of it beyond reassuring her that her worth is not tested by comparing herself to her group of friends.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th May 18, 6:39 PM
    • 5,703 Posts
    • 11,542 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    I was brought up by just my dad from age 11.

    I started growing hairs down below way before any of my peers. At swimming the other kids would remark and take the mick. I starting shaving (with a pair of scissors I didn't have access to razors) down below. Luckily I didn't develop up top so quick so it was something I could hide from Dad I would never have felt comfortable discussing it with him (thats no reflection on him he was a good Dad).

    Having been in a similar situation I do think whilst it is something to keep in the back of your mind others have maybe jumped on the alternative reasons for wanting to hide breasts a bit quick. I just see a teenage who is probably having comments made about her breasts by other kids and wants that to stop (what child doesn't want to stop other kids taking about them).

    I suggest taking her to a good bra fitting shop (or get her Nan to) and leaving her to talk to the staff about her wants (ie to make her breasts look smaller) a sports bar might work or a miminiser, there are lots of options to try. Then just pay at the end. Return regularly to make sure as she grows the new bras still fit and are doing the job she wants. In a short while she will probably be asking the fitter to recommend a bra that makes the most of her assests.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 10th May 18, 6:54 PM
    • 4,562 Posts
    • 10,439 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    To be honest I think kids will always pick out things that are different about someone.
    Originally posted by Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    Yep. Deviate from the herd and it makes you a target for the bullies. For me it was having to wear (brown NHS horn rim) spectacles from age seven, some years before anyone else in my class did.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • LavenderBee
    • By LavenderBee 11th May 18, 7:46 AM
    • 305 Posts
    • 1,553 Thanks
    LavenderBee
    I do feel for your daughter - I'm another one of the early developers like some of the other ladies here. First to have periods, first to have breasts, and the primary school wasn't equipped for it (no bins in the toilets, communal changing etc). I did feel like a freak show and got lots of unwanted attention. This was in the days before the internet, social media and porn everywhere.

    I would definitely echo the advice to take her to a bra fitting service, go and wander 2 shops down and maybe ask her to text you when she's done - you sound like an amazing dad, honestly; but most teenage girls won't want dad hanging round a lingerie section! You can book appointments online for M&S so no need for either of you to have to approach and ask if she can be seen. The sort of band style bra is quite popular at the moment, she might find that a bit more discreet if it isn't a full on minimiser she wants.

    I'm also sporty, I would definitely get her sports bra checked (maybe she could wear it to the appointment?) - again it sort of throws you off kilter when you're used to throwing yourself about and now there are these things stuck to the front of you to consider! If that doesn't fit anymore it can be really uncomfortable.

    I started early but also "stopped" early too. I wouldn't be classed as buxom or naturally curvy by anyone now - I always think I've got massive hips, and they were when I was a child. My boobs ended up smaller than average, because everything had grown and stopped by 12-13. This meant that everyone else caught up, I was no longer a novelty and life moved on. But at the time, when you're a hormonal 13 year old and can't actually imagine school will ever end, that you will be an adult one day; it's rough.

    I wish you both the best.
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 11th May 18, 8:39 AM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    Can稚 do any harm. I have had a number of pupils confide in me or simply ask advice.

    As English is a subject where issues and relationships are continually discussed, through literature, we are often seen as approachable.

    Otherwise, do you have any very good neighbours or friends whom she might trust?
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    I might try & pop discreetly into school & have a chat with her teacher (who ironically my daughter thinks I am well suited to in terms of a relationship & has often remarked I should ask her on a date )

    My niece was going through the opposite situation to your daughter. She is very small compared to the other girls in her class and they all started treating her differently as they had all started their periods but she hadn't. To be honest I think kids will always pick out things that are different about someone. It doesn't always go as far as bullying but they can do enough to make that person uncomfortable.
    Originally posted by Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    There could be something to this, given that both her & her brother have very ginger hair...

    You're doing the right thing by talking to her but don't make a big deal out of it beyond reassuring her that her worth is not tested by comparing herself to her group of friends.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I don't want to make it a big deal as I think as soon as she thinks I am doing this, it could make her clam up & not talk to me the way she does at the moment...
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 11th May 18, 8:43 AM
    • 2,444 Posts
    • 8,828 Thanks
    Oakdene
    Having been in a similar situation I do think whilst it is something to keep in the back of your mind others have maybe jumped on the alternative reasons for wanting to hide breasts a bit quick. I just see a teenage who is probably having comments made about her breasts by other kids and wants that to stop (what child doesn't want to stop other kids taking about them).

    I suggest taking her to a good bra fitting shop (or get her Nan to) and leaving her to talk to the staff about her wants (ie to make her breasts look smaller) a sports bar might work or a miminiser, there are lots of options to try. Then just pay at the end. Return regularly to make sure as she grows the new bras still fit and are doing the job she wants. In a short while she will probably be asking the fitter to recommend a bra that makes the most of her assests.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    From what I have read here I think the bra fitting idea seems the most logical first step, it is almost a 'not making this into a big deal' idea....

    I would definitely echo the advice to take her to a bra fitting service, go and wander 2 shops down and maybe ask her to text you when she's done - you sound like an amazing dad, honestly; but most teenage girls won't want dad hanging round a lingerie section! You can book appointments online for M&S so no need for either of you to have to approach and ask if she can be seen. The sort of band style bra is quite popular at the moment, she might find that a bit more discreet if it isn't a full on minimiser she wants.

    I'm also sporty, I would definitely get her sports bra checked (maybe she could wear it to the appointment?) - again it sort of throws you off kilter when you're used to throwing yourself about and now there are these things stuck to the front of you to consider! If that doesn't fit anymore it can be really uncomfortable.

    I started early but also "stopped" early too. I wouldn't be classed as buxom or naturally curvy by anyone now - I always think I've got massive hips, and they were when I was a child. My boobs ended up smaller than average, because everything had grown and stopped by 12-13. This meant that everyone else caught up, I was no longer a novelty and life moved on. But at the time, when you're a hormonal 13 year old and can't actually imagine school will ever end, that you will be an adult one day; it's rough.

    I wish you both the best.
    Originally posted by LavenderBee
    Thank you... I tried to remember what school was like when I was that age & I do seem to remember there were some horrible little kids about who were more immature than those around them. As above I think the bra fitting is the way to go initially.
    Dwy galon, un dyhead,
    Dwy dafod ond un iaith,
    Dwy raff yn cydio地 ddolen,
    Dau enaid ond un taith.


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