Why Sister Wives' Kody Brown Felt "Powerless" in His Relationship With His Older Children

In a new interview, Sister Wives star Kody Brown opened up about where he stands with his older children and his hopes for the future.

By Elyse Dupre Oct 05, 2023 8:25 PMTags
Watch: Sister Wives’ Kody Brown Will Keep “Hating” Christine

As Kody Brown was busy multiplying his love, his authority over his eldest children was slowly diminishing.

The Sister Wives star—who has 18 kids from his plural marriages to exes Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and current wife Robyn Brown—recently reflected on how his relationship with his older offspring has changed.

"Your relationship with your 10-year-old or your 5-year-old or your babies is very different than the relationship you have with a 15-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 25 and a 30-year-old," Kody told People in an interview published Oct. 4. "It's very different. I didn't have any power in my household to say, 'These are the rules.'"

The TLC celeb told the outlet he'd felt "powerless" as a parent and that their family struggled to work through their differences—with him noting there were "very difficult issues that we had to deal with."

photos
Sister Wives Star Christine Brown & David Woolley's Family Vacation

One issue viewers saw the past few seasons was family-wide disagreement over Kody's COVID-19 protocols. The 54-year-old told People he was also "not in a good place" with Christine, who announced the end of their relationship in November 2021, and that he was "recovering from a lot of anger" with Janelle, who revealed their separation in December 2022, and Meri, who he split from in January.

"But in the end, it's almost like it was a blur," Kody said while reflecting on the challenges they faced during the pandemic. "I don't know what happened. All that's left now is moving forward. Moving forward and hopefully healing these relationships. It is really a story now, moving forward. This is a story about forgiveness. Forgiveness and finding hope and joy after relationships have been severed from the way that's the norm."

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

He also expressed his desire to "find a new normal" with his exes and "all of my children."

While Kody didn't say which children he hoped to repair his relationship with, he previously noted on the Sister Wives: One on One special that he's "estranged" from his sons Garrison and Gabriel, two of the six children he shares with Janelle. Fans also saw Kody and some of his children celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas separately.

To learn more about the Sister Wives family and their significant others, keep reading.

Meri Brown

In January 2024, a year after she and Kody Brown announced their breakup, Meri revealed on Instagram that she is in a new relationship.

"Meet Amos," she wrote on Instagram, "the good looking guy I've been dating since October!"

Kody Brown & Robyn Brown

"She looked like a soccer mom," Kody Brown once joked on Sister Wives of meeting then-single mom Robyn in 2009. "She had a van, three kids and was divorced. I thought, 'I didn't need a van, a divorced woman, and three kids in my life—that's just trouble.'"

Nearly a decade and a half on, though, they're still kicking it, the pair adding son Solomon, 12, and daughter Ariella, 7, to the squad. As for bringing on other teammates, it's not in the game plan. "I really, really struggle with it because it feels, like, 'Oh, well. Those didn't work. So, on to [someone] new,'" Robyn said on the December Sister Wives: One on One special of Meri, Janelle and Christine leaving the fold. "That's hard for me. That's really, really hard for me. It feels disrespectful."

Christine Brown

She got the man and the family. Going official with her and David Woolley's romance on Valentine's Day 2023, Christine Brown shared, "I finally found the love of my life, David. The first time he held me close, it felt like my soul took its first breath. He's wonderful and kind, incredible with my children and an adorable grandpa. I never dreamed I could find a love like this."

Two months later he added to the fantasy with a spring proposal. "David treats me like a queen and tells me I'm beautiful everyday," Christine told People. "I've never been in love like this before and the world seems like a brighter place with him in it."

Tying the knot in Utah Oct. 7, she wrote, "I'm so blessed! I've married my best friend."

Madison Brown

The first of the 18 Brown children to walk down the aisle, Janelle's eldest daughter, Madison Brown, now 28, wed Caleb Brush at a 2016 outdoor wedding in Montana captured by TLC's cameras. Nearly seven years later, the two have multiplied their love with Josephine joining big brother Axel, 6, and big sister Evie, 4, in February.  

"One month as a family of 5 and my heart is bursting," North Carolina-based Maddie wrote on Instagram in March. "I didn't know this kind of peace amongst chaos could be had."

Leon Brown

Four years after their engagement aired on the TLC reality show, Meri Brown's only child, Leon Brown, has settled in Denver with partner Audrey Kriss. "my sweetest symphony," Leon, 28, raved of their fiancé. "Life with you truly is so sweet." Echoed Audrey, "Being your partner and watching your growth and coming into yourself over the years has been an honor and joy."

Logan Brown

Eldest kid Logan Brown, 29, got the gang back together when he married longtime girlfriend Michelle Petty in Arizona this past October. "It was a beautiful day and this mama's heart was mush the whole time," Janelle shared on Instagram of her son's wedding. "You always have such a sense of peace when your children find amazing life partners."

Mykelti Brown

More than six years after her 2016 wedding to Antonio "Tony" Padron, Mykelti Brown joked that they'd already tested the limits of their marriage vows by welcoming twins Archer and Ace into the fold in November 2022. 

"We have 3 kids and 4 moves under our belt," noted the 27-year-old, also mom to Avalon, 2. "A whole lot of good times and some hard times #surprisetwins But here we are still doing this whole marriage thing."

Aspyn Brown

In the five years since they wed, Christine's daughter Aspyn Brown, 28, and husband Mitch Thompson have traveled everywhere from Paris to Alaska. But last December, they put down roots, Mitch sharing on Instagram, "We bought our first home! Just in time for Christmas."

Gwendlyn Brown

Before hitting their one-year anniversary, Christine's daughter Gwendlyn Brown and love Beatriz Queiroz went to the happiest place on earth and marked six months together with chocolate fondue. Then came the really sweet part. The 22-year-old shared a glimpse at the candlelit, rose-filled proposal on Instagram in November 2022, writing simply, "i'm engaged!!" 

The couple wed in July, sharing the news on Instagram the caption: "Say hello to mrs (x2) queiroz."

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App