I have received some responses to underwear for teen girls article.
One parent writes, “I wonder if you might be able to clarify something for me though. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when you say I should let them choose rather than dictating to them, I assume you mean let them accompany me to the store and choose which particular brand or colors they like, not choose whether or not they wear the garment, right? I’m certainly okay with that, because my sense of style is no match for theirs. But as far as whether or not they wear a cleavage-enhancing bra or a g-string I think that it’s a decision a parent should make because it takes consideration of factors like their physical health, emotional well-being, and sense of self-confidence that I’m not sure they have the maturity to consider properly at their age. Would you agree? Perhaps I’m being old-fashioned, but I think as a parent it’s my decision, as long as they are minors living under my care, because it’s the sort of thing that they will probably look back on and realize I was right to push them in the direction I thought was best for them even if they didn’t see it that way at the time. Do you think that helping them to make the most of their physical assets by wearing pushup bras and smaller underwear is in line with the kind of confidence-boosting parenting strategy that you recommend? Although I am making a choice for them, don’t you think that it’s in their long-term best interest for me to get them wearing those kinds of undergarments? I welcome any difference of opinion, so please share your views without reservation.”
I think a parent may insist that teens wear a bra (support is good or modesty is important) but whether it should be white or pink is better left to them. I think an argument can be similarly made for thongs over regular panties (VPL, comfort, etc.) but again whether it is a gstring or thong or if it is silk or lace should best be left to someone who is going to wear it.
I also think cleavage enhancement is not something parents should choose in the normal course since it is something that they can decide as adults later on.
The only exception is if they come to you (or you notice) and say that they have low self esteem or body image because of small breasts. In other words, you are still the best judge here based on the subtleties of the situation.
My basic parenting strategy is that parents should choose what is best for their kids so that they do not hurt themselves and learn all sorts of life skills but children should still have room to make personal choices. For instance, the parent should choose the number of servings of protein or vegetables per day but if one child likes broccoli and other doesn’t they should be able to choose accordingly. Or that they should wear warm clothes in winter so that they don’t catch a cold but still they should be able to choose a fleece jacket or a wool sweater.
There is no black and white answer in these situations and as long as you have the basic idea right and they are happy with your and their choices, you can move forward. The best thing for you to do will be discuss this with them and let them try one. If they see the way things you do and they would like to continue, it is time to go shopping.