What Kody Brown's Adult Kids Have Really Said About Him

In 2010, Mormon patriarch Kody Brown began using his TLC reality series "Sister Wives" as a platform to promote the idea that polygamy isn't as appalling as some people believe it to be. But after years of watching the Browns fail to function as a happy, harmonious unit, viewers witnessed Kody's plural marriage get rapidly whittled down to a monogamous one. Christine Brown was the first to dump Kody in 2021, and Janelle Brown left the following year. When Kody and his first wife, Meri Brown, split in 2023, Meri had to beg her Instagram followers not to offer their felicitations in response to the announcement. This left Kody with the only spouse he was legally married to, wife No. 4 Robyn Brown — and a fractured family that includes 18 kids.

How Kody divides his time between his children is a topic that has often been explored on "Sister Wives." He and Meri share one child, Leon, and he has six children with his second wife, Janelle: Logan, Maddie, Hunter, Garrison, Gabe, and Savannah. With Christine, he shares another half dozen kids: Ysabel, Gwendlyn, Paedon, Mykelti, Aspyn, and Truely. After Kody brought Robyn into the family, he eventually adopted her three kids from a previous marriage: Dayton, Aurora, and Breanna. The couple also had two children together: Solomon and Ariella.

Many of the Brown kids are now adults, and they've started speaking out about what Kody is really like. Often, what they say isn't exactly flattering.

Gwendlyn Brown called her father 'manipulative' and 'cowardly'

Kody Brown and Christine Brown's fourth child, Gwendlyn Brown, is one of the most outspoken "Sister Wives" stars. On her YouTube channel, Gwendlyn rewatches episodes of her family's show and shares her unfiltered thoughts about them. In a December 2022 video, Gwendlyn said of her dad, "When I watch the episodes, I do tend to dislike him a little bit."

Gwendlyn frequently criticizes Kody for his treatment of his wives. In an April 2023 video, Gwendlyn watched a segment of the Season 17 "One on One" special with her mouth agape. After Meri Brown described how Kody recoiled from her and refused to kiss her on their anniversary, Gwendlyn said of her father's behavior, "Dis-gust-ing. Wow! That is horrifying." She also expressed her frustration with Kody when he said that he no longer viewed himself as being married to Meri. At the time, the OG Brown couple hadn't yet mutually decided to end their marriage. Gwendolyn called Kody out for allowing Meri to wrongly believe that reconciliation was a possibility. "It feels completely manipulative," she said in a February 2023 video.

Gwendlyn made similar remarks while rewatching her father admit that he should have told her mother, Christine Brown, that he no longer had feelings for her. However, Kody also suggested that Christine was a quitter for leaving him. "I think it's more cowardly to be in a relationship where you don't love somebody than it is to leave instead of experiencing heartbreak," Gwendlyn opined.

Kody Brown's daughters on his deteriorating dad skills

In a Patreon video, Kody Brown and Christine Brown's second child, Mykelti Brown, made a confession about her father's parenting. "I think that my dad was a better father when I was younger," she said. Mykelti explained that this is because he had fewer children to divide his time between. In another video, she revealed that Kody had little time available to spend with any of his kids, to begin with. "He wasn't home that often," she said. "He'd be home once a week, honestly." On her YouTube channel, Mykelti's sister Gwendlyn Brown mentioned that the job that kept Kody on the road involves selling firearms, and she believes he doesn't really like people knowing that this is what he does for a living.

Mykelti tried to paint Kody in a somewhat sympathetic light by saying that his circumstances are stressful (neglecting to mention that they're also largely self-inflicted). She then assured her viewers that he's a decent father who made an effort to bond with her when she was younger. 

Gwendlyn has shared her own thoughts about how Kody's treatment of his children has changed over the years. She explained to her YouTube viewers that she's witnessed him checking out of his kids' lives when they get older, positing that this is because he finds their minds more malleable when they're young children. "I think he just found it easier to talk to them," she said. "They weren't as opinionated."

Paedon Brown's contract claim

While a few of Kody Brown's children have become some of his biggest critics, his third child with Christine Brown, Paedon Brown, has claimed that Kody has tried to prevent his progeny from speaking ill of their pops. In a YouTube interview with John Yates, Paedon alleged that his dad wanted TLC to add language in the Brown family's contract that prohibited his kids from making negative comments about him on social media. He revealed that his parents had an argument about this and recalled his mom telling his father, "No, you're not allowed to tell our children what they can and can't say about you." Paedon said that the network refused his father's request as well.

Kody had called Paedon, and Paedon was delighted that his dad was reaching out to him to catch up — but then he realized that Kody was just concerned about his kids potentially besmirching his good name. "Broke my heart," he said. 

Paedon revealed that it ultimately wasn't something he said on social media but something he wore that displeased his dad. In a 2022 TikTok video, Paedon showed off a shirt that read, "What. Does. The Nanny. Do?" This was in reference to something his mom said on "Sister Wives" about a nanny who had been hired to help Robyn Brown. According to Paedon, his father was furious about the shirt and sent him a text that read in part, "How dare you disrespect me like this."

Gwendlyn Brown said Kody is bad with money

In one of her rewatch videos on YouTube, Gwendlyn Brown suggested that Kody Brown and his one remaining wife might find themselves experiencing some financial difficulties now that her mother Christine Brown, Meri Brown, and Janelle Brown are no longer contributing to the family's shared income. "I think that my dad and Robyn have a terrible habit of spending very crazy and not within their means at all," she said.

Gwendlyn threw shade at her dad's spending habits in another video while responding to a fan's question. The fan wanted to know why her dad buys flashy sports cars for himself while his wives drive vehicles that are more practical for a supersized family. "My dad's just been kind of the kind of person that wants to show off, even if they don't have the monetary means to be able to do so," she said.

On "Sister Wives," Kody said that the only thing he fears is being poor, which Gwendlyn found upsetting. She pointed out that Kody has a large family that should be at the top of his list of priorities, not money, so it would make more sense for his biggest fear to be something terrible happening to one of his children. It also had her pondering whether Kody would only want a relationship with her in the future if she became financially well-off. "It hurt my feelings a little bit," she confessed on YouTube.

He wasn't there when Ysabel Brown needed him

Many of Kody Brown's family members were unhappy with his decision not to accompany his daughter, Ysabel Brown, to New Jersey when she underwent surgery to correct her scoliosis. But no one was more upset than Ysabel herself. "I think his priorities are a little screwed up," the heartbroken then-18-year-old said in a "Sister Wives" confessional. She also reminded viewers, "He's always talking about how family comes first."

In fact, while explaining why he couldn't spend a few weeks in Jersey with Ysabel, Kody told the "Sister Wives" cameras, "No man could be away from family that long." In her rewatch of the episode, Gwendlyn called him out over this comment, pointing out, "He would be with family." According to Paedon Brown, Kody being there for Ysabel would have been a rare bright spot in their father-daughter relationship. "Ysabel doesn't have a lot of good memories of [Kody]," Paedon told John Yates. "Most of her memories that involve him are sad." As for Ysabel's mother, Christine Brown told People that Kody's treatment of Ysabel is what made her finally decide to pull the plug on their marriage. 

Ultimately, it sounds like Kody and Ysabel just drifted further apart. As she was preparing to leave for college, she told the "Sister Wives" cameras, "I'm gonna miss my mom more than I'm gonna miss him, I think — because I don't actually think we're close at all."

How the kids felt about the family's Flagstaff move

In his interview with John Yates, Paedon Brown suggested that Kody Brown made all of his wives and kids who were still living at home pack up and move to Flagstaff, Arizona, because Robyn Brown's son, Dayton Brown, had gotten accepted into Northern Arizona University. "We got uprooted for Dad's favorite wife," Paedon said. His frustrated sister Aspyn Brown had a different theory. In an episode of "Sister Wives," she said of her parents, "I just feel like they're running away from something."

Many family members were unhappy about the move. While Janelle Brown was talking to her son Gabe Brown about it, he directed his ire toward his father. "Do as the slave driver says," he scoffed. In a confessional, he vented some more, saying, "At this point, I'm really just fuming inside ... I really don't want to move at all." It always seemed to be the wives who were tasked with having these tough conversations with the kids.

Kody and Janelle's daughter Maddie Brown had a different reason for being vexed with her father. She and her husband had moved to Las Vegas to be closer to the rest of the family — and they were being pressured to make another move to Flagstaff with their baby boy. "I'm kind of bitter," Maddie admitted on "Sister Wives." She added, "I will be surprised if Flagstaff is their final destination. They get bored really easy."

The kids who supported the family's big breakup

Some kids want nothing more than for their parents to have a change of heart and reconcile when they're going through the divorce process, but when the Brown family rapidly began unraveling, many of Kody Brown's kids supported their moms' decisions to ditch their dad. "I was honestly relieved when I heard my mom was leaving my dad. They're not happy. They're not in love," Mykelti Brown said in an episode of "Sister Wives." Ysabel Brown said that she wasn't surprised to learn that her parents were separating. While she admitted to feeling some sadness about the split, she also ultimately viewed it as what was best for her parents — but more so for her mother, Christine Brown. "I'm happy that my mom will be able to find somebody who she's really, really, really happy with," Ysabel said.

In one of her reaction videos, Gwendlyn Brown revealed that she struggled to contain her excitement when Christine had the divorce discussion with her. "I was like, 'Don't show her that I'm super f***ing hyped,'" she recalled. "I gave her a polite smile and stuff, but inside I was freaking out." Gwendlyn was also thrilled that her mom was moving away from Flagstaff to somewhere she believed that Christine would thrive, Salt Lake City. Paedon Brown agreed that the breakup and the move were for his mom's benefit. "Mom is happier now," he told Us Weekly three months after the divorce.

Mykelti Brown on Kody and Meri's volatile relationship

Kody Brown has gotten a lot of flak for his treatment of his wives over the years, but Mykelti Brown came to her dad's defense by arguing that one of his now-exes wasn't exactly a shining example of a spouse, either. In a Crowdcast livestream for her Patreon patrons, Mykelti suggested that Meri Brown only had herself to blame for her marriage becoming irrevocably broken. She pointed to Meri's 2015 catfishing scandal as the catalyst that caused Kody to check out of their relationship. "If you're going to cheat on your spouse, you're giving up on the relationship first," Mykelti argued (via Starcasm). "It's unfair for her to get mad at Dad when she gave up. She threw the towel in. She said, 'I'm done.' She cheated first." Meri's cheating involved falling in love with someone she met online only to later learn that the person she was texting and talking to on the phone had lied about their identity.

Mykelti did admit that Kody and Meri had other relationship issues. "I think they were both unhappy in their marriage, and they might have been emotionally and verbally abusive to each other," she revealed. However, it seems that losing a few wives didn't exactly improve Kody's state of mind. In a January 2023 Patreon video, Mykelti spoke about her father's mood amid his divorces. "He's going through a bit of an angry patch in his life right now," she said. 

Gabe Brown's big birthday disappointment

In a December 2022 episode of "Sister Wives," Gabe Brown cried as he recalled the phone call he received from his father on his birthday in October 2021. At the time, Kody Brown had caught COVID for the first time after spending months convincing his family that his form of socially distancing — spending the majority of his time with Robyn Brown and the kids he shares with her — was what was best for everyone. Kody wanted to talk to Gabe about COVID because his son had been sick with the virus before. "I didn't remind him that it was my birthday because I wanted to see if he remembered," Gabe recalled. "And he didn't. So to him, it was just a phone call just asking me about COVID." Sheesh, Kody. If you can't remember your 18 kids' birthdays, there's more than one app that can help you out with that.

Somehow, Kody later became aware of his grave mistake and tried to rectify it by calling Gabe again. But his belated "Happy birthday" wasn't enough to mend a relationship that was already hanging on by a thread due to the tension caused by Kody's COVID rules. "That's the last time I ever talked to my dad," Gabe said. In his January 2023 interview with John Yates, Paedon Brown said of his brother's unhappy birthday, "Gabe is broken-hearted about this, and he's still so affected by it."

Gwendlyn Brown slams her dad's patriarchal views

In a YouTube video, Gwendlyn Brown reacted to a comment Kody Brown made to his spouses during a "Sister Wives" episode. "I'm gonna be the head of my household again," Kody decreed. "If everybody's willing to conform to patriarchy again, I guess." Gwendlyn disagreed with her dad's demand that his wives submit to him. She laughed out loud and said, "I don't love what he was saying." She also argued that there was no way that Kody's wives were ever going to let him rule the roost. "Poor guy. He was like, 'I just wanted to be a patriarch and a leader,' and clearly that is not what's happening.'"

In another video, Gwendlyn questioned why her father was so determined to remain spiritually married to his non-legal wives who were clearly unhappy with their relationship. "Does he consider them trophies?" she said.

Gwendlyn has also shared some insight into Kody's relationship with Robyn that may help explain why she's now his only remaining wife. "Robyn is upholding this patriarchy that he seems to think that is happening," she said in an April 2023 reaction video. "[She] does what he wants at this point just to make herself and her children survive." Gwendlyn has a theory about why her father finds the patriarchal family structure so appealing. "[Those] kind of opinions and thoughts seem to benefit him," she said in response to a fan's question about how she feels about her dad's misogynistic views.

Leon Brown on coming out to Kody Brown

In a 2020 episode of "Sister Wives," Kody Brown and Meri Brown's only child, Leon Brown, talked about how their religious upbringing made it difficult for them to accept being gay. But when they came out to their family, Leon praised Kody for being loving and supportive. "He told me this before but he reiterated to me that he had a conversation with God many years ago and God said, 'You love, I judge,'" they recalled (via Us Weekly). "And so all dad did was love. That's all he does with everybody."

When Leon came out as transgender in a 2022 Instagram post, they did not mention their father. "I'm finally ready to share my favorite self with the world. and that self is incredibly genderqueer, trans, and unapologetic," they wrote. Leon was one of the kids that Kody listed as being a family outsider in a "Sister Wives" episode. Gwendlyn Brown explained to her YouTube viewers that her family members' religion and the conservative political views that many of them share made Leon decide to distance themself from the group. "They found a safer community," Gwendlyn assured her fans.

Gwendlyn didn't reveal whether Kody still had any semblance of a relationship with Leon, but in another video, she said that her dad's political leanings have become more right-wing — and support for the LGBTQ+ community isn't exactly popular among those with similar viewpoints.

Maddie Brown thought her monogamous lifestyle disappointed her dad

Before Kody Brown's exiting exes forced him into monogamy, some of his kids fretted over how he would feel if they decided to stick with just one spouse by choice. While discussing dating in a 2014 episode of "Sister Wives," Kody and Janelle Brown's oldest daughter, Maddie Brown, said that plural marriage is not for her. "I think my dad is sad that I won't be a polygamist," she stated. "But I think that he's also kind of just come to the realization that it's not gonna happen." Maddie also dismissed some of her parents' dating rules as ridiculous, such as no kissing, holding hands, or hugging. For his part, Kody said during the episode that he would never push any of his kids to abide by his super successful sister-wives system if he doesn't feel that it's right for them. Maddie married her husband, Caleb Brush, in 2016, and the couple welcomed their third child in 2023.

In 2015, Maddie revealed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) had refused to baptize her because she would not publicly renounce her parents. The Browns' high-profile plural marriage was the cause of Maddie's rejection, and this made her change her mind about wanting to join the church. "Why would I want to be a part of a church that wouldn't let me join because of my parents' decision?" she said during a "Sisters Wives" tell-all special.

Kody Brown's kids accused him of using corporal punishment

In a February 2023 video that she shared with her Patreon patrons, Gwendlyn Brown reportedly claimed that Kody Brown spanked her when she was a child. "I remember personally being bruised a few times," she said of how hard her father allegedly struck her (via Starcasm). The allegation was in response to a fan's question about whether Kody used corporal punishment as a form of discipline, which Gwendlyn said she is against. When Gwendlyn later uploaded the same video to her YouTube channel, she edited out the spanking claim. However, while discussing a "Sister Wives" scene in which Kody screamed at her mom Christine Brown, Gwendlyn said, "We are definitely starting to see the true side of him because he has yelled at me like this before."

In his interview with John Yates, Paedon Brown spoke about Kody using physical forms of punishment with him. "Yes, he pounded my bum several times," Paedon recalled. "He flicked me on my mouth several times because I would mouth off." However, Paedon also stated, "He made sure to be an authority figure in my life, and he was a very, very good father when he was doing it."

The American Psychological Association has warned parents that physically disciplining children is ineffective and harmful, and it may make kids view violence as an acceptable way to deal with disputes. The APA also says, "[Physical discipline] can lead to emotional, behavioral and academic problems over time."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

The father was accused of favoritism

During the early days of the pandemic, some of Kody Brown's wives and kids noticed that his COVID rules conveniently allowed him to be around Robyn Brown much more often than his other family members. In one episode of "Sister Wives," viewers saw just how badly Kody's handling of that stressful time backfired when one of the sons he and Janelle Brown share, Garrison Brown, said that he no longer wanted anything to do with Kody. But in his interview with John Yates, Paedon Brown said that he and his siblings realized that their dad favored Robyn over his other wives long before the family's pandemic problems started pulling the Browns apart.

In an interview with The U.S. Sun, Paedon admitted that he was a bit mean to Robyn's children from her previous marriage as a kid because he noticed that his dad also seemed to favor them. "I saw my dad doing things with them that he didn't do with me," he explained.

Gwendlyn's experience echoed that of her brother. During a "Sister Wives" rewatch, she teared up as she observed Kody interacting with his and Robyn's youngest kids. "It hurts so much to see him be a good father to others when I didn't really get that much," she said. "I don't remember coming home from kindergarten and seeing my dad, and him being happy that I ate all my lunch or that I made a friend at school."

Kody Brown's kids believe he's done with polygamy

In a Patreon video, Mykelti Brown responded to a question from a fan who wanted to know if Kody and Robyn Brown planned on taking another shot at plural marriage after the family's sister-wife exodus. "I heavily doubt it," Mykelti said. She explained that Kody's belief in polygamy came from the Apostolic United Brethren religion, but he is no longer an active member of the Mormon church sect. 

In a YouTube video, Gwendlyn Brown shared her thoughts on her parents' failed plural marriage attempt. "People can have amazing polyamorous relationships, but this wasn't for my mom — and I strongly believe it wasn't for my dad, either." In another video, she said of Kody's first wife, "I think Meri should have multiple husbands. She seems like the kind of person that would rock it."

Paedon Brown told Us Weekly that his mother, Christine Brown, isn't interested in giving plural marriage another shot, and it doesn't appeal to him, either. He told John Yates that he's also against the idea of his dad marrying another sister wife — unless Kody happens to fall in love with a woman much younger than Robyn. He suggested that it would prove that Kody favored Robyn for her relative youth in comparison to his other wives because Paedon is convinced that the new sister wife would immediately become his dad's new favorite. "That would be absolutely amazing and wonderful," he said.