Here is a great question that I got from a patient just last week.
“How and when do you tell your daughter about breast implants? Of course mine is only 6 now, but one day it will come up. She might wish she develops like me! Maybe I should tell her to start saving her money for boobs instead of a car. I also don’t want to share too soon and then all of her friends and everyone know as well. Not that I hide it, but as a professional woman, I do have to be careful with that information!”
What’s the right time to tell your children about your breast augmentation surgery?
I think it comes down to three factors:
– 1. Maturity level (yours and theirs).
– 2. Positive body image (she doesn’t NEED this to be beautiful – but might want this).
– 3. Honest communication about your WHY (your reasons for the surgery).
I would consider timing the discussion about your cosmetic surgery with “the birds and bees talk”. This conversations mandate a similar level of maturity required to understand talk about breast surgery. This maturity must be on both sides (yours and theirs). As a parent, as soon as we had children, we all know this awkward conversations was coming. Just as you have to “be the adult here” and muddle through this talk, if you act uncomfortable, it will be doubly so for your children. Same with conversations regarding your body and your anatomy. I always recommend using anatomic terms when discussing body parts. And if you still can’t seem to get past the embarrassment, fake it.
Ok, we’ve covered YOUR maturity level. Now lets discuss your children. Usually, when your daughter starts to develop, this may signal a time in her life when she may be able to handle conversations regarding breast augmentation. As she develops breasts and begins her menstruation, her body is maturing. What about her mind and her emotions? As her mother, you have to be tuned in to this.
When discussion this, be matter of fact about it, don’t act sheepish or embarrassed because that may connote that something may be wrong with your decision. But also help them understand that just like any other medical issues ( diseases, medications, surgery) it is a private matter. Just because it’s no one else’s business, not because it’s something negative or something wrong.
This is the age where maintaining a positive body image is ULTRA-important, especially in girls. Help them see that in order to be beautiful, they don’t NEED this surgery. But I would encourage you to be open and honest with how breast augmentation surgery effected you and your confidence. Share with them your “WHY”; let them in on the reasoning behind why you had surgery. Remind them that just because you developed a certain way, doesn’t dictate they will develop in a similar fashion. Just like your bodies are different, so are your minds. You may have benefitted from a breast implant surgery, but that may not be important to your daughter.
Typically parents understand their own children the best and can make that individual judgement call. This probably won’t be a singular conversation and may take place over many such talks. You may decide to explore your “WHY” with them after they’ve grasped your “that” you had surgery. Every family is unique and every girl an individual, so circumstance will be different for each person.
So, tell your daughter about your breast augmentation surgery when you feel she can handle it intellectually and emotionally, share the underlying reasons that were important to you in your decision making process and help her to see that this elective surgery is just that. Ensure her understanding that surgery can help improve her confidence, but won’t produce something that is not inherently there already. Tell her that plastic surgery did benefit you, but that it might not benefit her. While there is no wrong answer regarding breast implant surgery as long as she has been thoughtful, it shouldn’t be necessary to have cosmetic surgery to feel beautiful.