We first met the Sister Wives back in 2010, when the conservative mormon family was still living in Utah. The show, which documents the life of Kody Brown and his family, has definitely shed some light on how these families operate (and how they go about their day without punching each other in the face). Kody and his wives have all stated that they participate in the show to make the public more aware of polygamist families and to combat societal prejudices, but we have to wonder, how do the kids feel about all of this?
Because their arrangement is not legal in the United States, the series has led to the Brown family being investigated for possible prosecution (Kody was off the hook, however, since he is only legally married to one woman and "spiritually married" to the others). Despite the fact that he's not going to jail, the Brown family's lifestyle is definitely taboo and it can't be easy for his children, especially given their notoriety.
Unfortunately, some of the kids are already being discriminated against. The official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) will not allow two of Kody's daughters to join the church, despite the fact that they have no intention of following in their footsteps. Are they angry at the church or are they angry at their parents? In what other ways have they been stigmatized for their parents' choices? I guess we'll never know until someone spills the tea.
Here are 20 things we want to know about the sister wives' kids.
20 Do The Moms Have Favorites?
Siblings always believe that their mom has a "favorite," but these kids have four moms! Do the wives try to treat all the kids fairly, regardless of their biological parents, or is there some obvious favoritism going on? Are Kody's adopted children treated differently than Kody's biological kids?
Obviously we can't speak to the sister wives' kids directly to get an answer to this question, but according to the Browns' book, controversy over how one wife treats another wife's children has caused problems in the past. Christine revealed that she got into a fight with Meri over how tough Meri was on Christine's kids. According to Christine, she felt that Meri took her frustrations and stress out on her children.
19 Do They Have To Listen To ALL The Moms, Or Just Their Biological One?
We have a lot of questions for the sister wives, but luckily their book (and their website) has shed a lot of light on what goes on behind closed doors.
“Our children should respect and be obedient to all the mothers in our family,” reads a post on the website. “The mothers should treat all the children fairly. The children are all brothers and sisters and should treat each other as such.”
Sounds good on paper, but does this actually happen?! We have our doubts. If the sister wives have favorites then I can GUARANTEE the kids do!
It's been rumored that Janelle is the most easy-going of the pack and Meri is the most demanding, and we can't say we're surprised!
18 Do They Call ALL The Women "Mom?"
I've had this question for a while now, but luckily it's directly addressed on the Brown family's website.
Although the kids are required to respect all of the mothers, they do not have to call all four women “mom.” They call their biological mother “Mom” and the other women by their first names.
They all call Kody “Dad,” even Robyn’s kids that aren’t biologically his. I wonder how Robyn's ex feels about that? Given he's never had any meaningful role in his children's lives, I guess he forfeited his right to be called "dad" a long time ago. Robyn's kids aren't little, so I can't imagine it felt natural to jump into calling him "Dad." I wonder if they had a choice?
17 Do They Wish Their Family Was "Normal?"
Obviously I can't speak for their children, but when I was a kid I just wanted to fit in (especially as a preteen). Given polygamy is NOT the norm (or even legal), do the kids ever wish their family was just normal?
We live in a world full of movies that feature two people falling in love, not groups of people. Teenagers date one girl at a time, not three or four. Maybe it would be a little easier if it was happening behind closed doors, but their family is literally famous for their lifestyle. I have a hard time believing that it's easy for them given the controversial nature of the show.
16 How Do The Sister Wives Act Behind Closed Doors?
We've all wondered this, haven't we?
Although the sister wives have always appeared very unified and sisterly in interviews, what's really going on behind closed doors? It's no big secret that there's been discord between Janelle and Meri for years.
Janelle (who was once married to Meri's brother) asserts that she and Meri’s relationship turned from “cordial to frosty, overnight” in the early years. She also described Meri as "demanding and overbearing" and admits that they've had horrible fights. Then there's the controversy surrounding Robyn, who is now Kody's only legal wife and rumored to be the only one receiving his "attentions" lately. Ew.
15 Are They Bullied At School?
According to HollywoodLife.com, it seems that some of the sister wives' kids were bullied at their school in Utah over their famous family's "predilections."
One of the Brown’s neighbors spoke exclusively about the situation, saying, “You know how kids can be at that age, kids are extra sensitive and the publicity is not good for them.”
It's not right, but I can't say I'm that surprised. Regardless of how anyone feels about it, it's definitely not the norm, and kids can be mean. Hopefully they're having better luck in Las Vegas, where people are a little less...judgy.
14 Do They Ever Feel Neglected?
Honestly, I have the same question for the Duggar kids (and any other massive family).
There are 18 sister wives' kids, so how in the world do the kids all get their fair share of attention? Did they grow up feeling lost in the pack, or do their parents make an effort to spend one-on-one time with each of them?
Do the older kids find themselves parenting the younger ones (a la The Duggars)? Given that Kody has to go back and forth between the houses now that they live in Las Vegas, who knows how often they get to see him. Healthy bonding between a parent and child requires time and attention, so I hope they're getting enough of it.
13 Do They Share Their Parents' Faith?
The Brown family has always been very outspoken against the Latter Day Saints' views on their lifestyle, but more recently the church has refused to allow the Brown children to join, even if they choose not to participate in plural marriage. Maddie Brown shared her thoughts about the refusal on Twitter, saying, "The LDS church rejecting me for my parents' choices was one of the most [disappointing] things I have been through."
Unlike Maddie, Logan and Mariah Brown don't identify as mormon at all! After Mariah was seen drinking in an Instagram photo, some fans questioned her faith. Logan addressed the issue, writing, "You're absolutely right. They typically don't [drink]. Mariah and I are not members of the LDS/Mormon church though."
12 How Do They Feel About The Show?
I can think of a lot of things I'd want my parents to be famous for, but polygamy isn't one of them. Given they're rumored to be the victims of bullying at school over the show, I wonder how they really feel about it? Personally, I wouldn't want to see my parents bickering all over national TV!
Meri's daughter, Mariah, came out as a lesbian on the show, and I can't imagine that was easy.
Given that Kody and every single one of his wives have had money troubles in the past, it seems that the show might be the only thing keeping them "afloat" at the moment, so I suppose in that respect it's worth it (at least for the parents).
11 Are They Interested In Following In Their Parents' Footsteps?
Despite being raised in this particular household (and participating in pro-polygamist rallies), it seems that the Brown kids are NOT interested in following in their parents' footsteps. In a TLC tell-all, Kody and Meri's only child, Mariah, was the first to admit that this might not be for her.
"I think I've just grown a lot over the past few years and taken a step back and maybe thought more about what I want and how I want my life to turn out," she said.
Kody and Christine's son Aspyn agreed. "I'm the same. I don't want to do plural marriage. I kind of feel bad that none of us want to, but it was just not what we were meant to do I guess."
10 How Do They Feel About Meri's Antics?
This sister wife thing has not all been smooth sailing over the years for Meri, Kody's original bride.
Honestly, when trying to do research on the family, it wasn't entirely clear whether she was still a sister wife at all!
One source claimed that Meri had found herself a new man, but according to Meri's Twitter updates, she's still happily a sister wife. These rumors most likely stem from the "catfishing scandal" Meri was involved in back in 2015, when she discovered that the "man" she was talking to online was actually a woman. So how do all the kids feel about this? Are they afraid of losing a mom, or are they ready for the constant bickering between Meri and Kody to be over?
9 Do They Want More Siblings?
Yes, there are already 18 kids, but given their dad can just "collect" newer, more fertile brides whenever he feels like it, there's always a chance there will be more. In the tell-all interview, Kody's and Christine's son, Paedon, was asked how he'd feel about having more brothers and sisters.
"Honestly, I don't think we need anymore," he replied. "Seventeen is hard to deal with."
His half-brother chimed in, saying, "I agree with Pardon. I think we have enough kids."
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Kody cares too much about his kids' feelings on the matter.
"You know what? Good thing you don't get to decide. I get to have as many as I want," he yelled. Sorry, kids.
8 How Do They Feel About "Sharing" Their Dad?
After the Brown family relocated to Las Vegas, they all began living in their own separate homes. Sounds nice and comfortable, right? My question is, how does this arrangement affect the kids? I can't imagine sitting around the dinner table with your mom, knowing your dad is at another house eating with his other wife and family.
Does he split his time between the family equally? According to the rumor mill, Kody has recently only been with his now-legal wife, Robyn. If so, it's safe to assume he's spending his nights with her, but most kids want their dad home with them in the evenings. Sounds messy to me.
7 Does Dad Has A Favorite Wife?
Robyn is Kody's younger, thinner bride, who seems to really be into being a sister wife. Given Robyn "replaced" Meri as Kody's only legal spouse, viewers are wondering if Robyn might not be Kody's favorite. Robyn and Kody did kiss before they were married, unlike the other sister wives, so it's definitely a possibility. Rumors are flying that Kody is now only sleeping with Robyn, but who the hell knows in this family!
All kids want their parents to be in love, so I can't even imagine how the kids would feel about their dad having a favorite wife. It's complicated, to say the least.
6 How Would They Feel About Another Wife?
Fundamentalist mormons who practice polygamy don't have a wife limit, so there's no telling when Kody will "fall in love" again! My question is, how would the kids feel about that? The older Brown kids have been asked to adjust time and time again, and I do wonder if they're bitter about it.
Poor Mariah went from having one mom to four over the course of her childhood! Given his ups and downs with Meri, he might be looking to upgrade yet again. Something tells me that Kody doesn't take his children's feelings into consideration when he makes big decisions, so I can only wish them the best as they adjust to whatever (or whoever's) coming next.
5 Do The Daughters Feel Like Second-Class Citizens?
How in the world do the daughters feel growing up in a family where there is one "head of the house" and four women who are catering to him? Kody Brown loves to join rallies promoting "equal rights" concerning polygamy, but is he cool with a woman taking up more than one husband? NOPE.
When asked how he'd feel about brother husbands, Kody said,
"It’s just not something I’m comfortable imagining. The vulgarity of you with two husbands or another lover sickens me. It seems wrong to God and nature."
Not only are the girls being raised with this obvious double standard, they're also taking a backseat when it comes to quality time with dad on camera.
4 Do The Sibling Groups Get Along?
I had a hard enough time getting along with my brother (and there were only two of us), so there has GOT to be some tension among the sister wives' kids, particularly with "sibling groups."
According to Robyn, her kids from her previous marriage didn't exactly receive a warm welcome.
“I do see the difference in treatment of Dayton, Aurora and Breanna,” Robyn insisted. “I’ve waited a year thinking it would change, and I don’t really see it completely changing. I see it in some cases actually getting worse. If (they) don’t feel like they’re a part of this family, they can choose, at a certain age, to not be here with me anymore. They can choose to live with their biological father.”
3 How Did Robyn's Kids Feel About Their Adoption Ceremony?
Robyn is Kody's latest bride who came into the marriage with three kids from a previous marriage.
To welcome them into the family, the Browns had an adoption ceremony complete with cameras, cake, a super weird gift, and a renaming of the kids.
To celebrate, Robyn gave Kody a portrait she commissioned of him with her three children. All of the kids were made to look much younger in the picture, including Kody, so it would look like he had been their biological father all these years. How did the kids feel about their bio dad being completely wiped from existence?!
After that the kids got a brand spanking new last name (legally), and I'm 100% sure they had no say in the matter. Nice.
2 Do The Kids Compete With Each Other?
Kody Brown always seems delighted with his ever-growing family, but at least he isn't completely oblivious when it comes to tension among his children.
“I’m very concerned about some kind of problems that stem from bullying in my family,” Kody admitted. “I’m at a loss. I’m just figuring there are millions of other parents just like me that are wondering what the heck to do with their kids.”
So where does this bullying come from? Sounds like there may be some good old-fashioned sibling rivalry going on (among EIGHTEEN KIDS). The kids have made it pretty obvious in interviews that it's not all sunshine and rainbows, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're all vying to be dad's "favorite part" of the family.
1 How Do They Feel About All This Moving Around?
Moving can be pretty hard on kids, but the Brown kids might want to get used to it. It wasn't too long ago that Kody and his sister wives made the big move from Utah to Las Vegas, but in the past couple of months they've moved yet again!
Yep, Radar revealed that the massive family spent $820k on a new property (or "compound") in Flagstaff, Arizona, and all the space is being divvied up equally. Looks like they've got a lot of building to do.
“As much as we’ve loved making our home and memories here in Las Vegas, we are excited to embark on a new adventure in Flagstaff, Arizona," the reality stars told People.