Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email

Should I pay for my daughter's surgery?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Monday, 24 March 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My 18 year old daughter has begged me to pay for her to have her breasts enlarged for her birthday. She says her tiny chest makes her so self-conscious, she's constantly miserable. She won't wear anything revealing and can't bear to go out with her friends because she thinks she's ugly.

I am absolutely against this kind of surgery, but am I just being selfish. This situation is causing me great misery. Would appreciate some advice.

Patricia Marie says...

You are approaching this dilemma from a mother's perspective, in your eyes your daughter is still very much your little girl, you are wanting to take control of the situation and protect your daughter from making what you believe to be a wrong decision. However, you are not her, and you are not living with her body.

Try to listen empathically to your daughter's point of view. Whilst you may not agree with what she has to say, you may gain a better understanding of why she is feeling the need to embark on cosmetic surgery. Breast augmentation is a very delicate matter for teens, as physically their bodies may not be fully developed, and emotionally they are more vulnerable to peer pressure.

A good question to ask is why are larger breasts so important to her, and does she think enhancing her figure in this way will change her life for the better. It sounds to me as if she may suffering from low self-esteem and feel it would be helpful if she were to explore this with a counsellor before making a decision. Hopefully this will enable her to gain confidence which she will learn can only come from within, not by enlarging her breasts.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified registered therapist in your area.

Got a dilemma, please email 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
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