TLC has turned out some exciting reality television families in recent years, and perhaps none have been as intriguing as the Brown family. Kody Brown, his four wives, and their herd of children have brought the concept of plural marriage out of the shadows and into our living rooms. Polygamy, which is the act of taking more than one wife, is a practice that is unconventional at best. The Browns have made it their life goal to show the world that while their family structure is different than most, their core beliefs regarding family aren't all that different than those of the mainstream population.
For years viewers have watched how the extra large, dynamic family manages so many strong personalities, marriages, moves, births, and bill paying. One of the most exciting aspects of how the Browns function though is the culture that they raise their kids in. These Mormon-belief based Browns have found a way to stick to their religious principles while making it possible for their children to have some freedoms that are unconventional by religious standards.
There are some rules that they wholeheartedly stick to, and expect from their children, and then there are others that they have become lenient with over the years. With so many diverse and unique kids, they had to alter their thinking to make sure all of the kids continued to feel loved and accepted throughout their lives.
Here are 14 things that Kody Brown and the sister wives allow their children to do and six that they are ultimately not fans of.
We'll start with what this family doesn't allow before we get to the things that they are unexpectedly lenient about...
20 Dating Before Vetting
Mykelti Brown, the daughter of Kody and his third wife Christine, sprung her plans to marry her boyfriend Tony on her parents quite abruptly. Unlike Maddie and Aspyn Brown, whose future husbands were already known to the family, Mykelti's man, was someone Kody and his wives knew nothing about. Besides this, Mykelti and Tony had only dated for a short time. The family spent quite a bit of time getting to know Tony Padron, talking to him about his future intentions with their daughter. Similar vetting techniques got used with Maddie and Aspyn's future husbands, but Tony certainly got the brunt of the vetting process.
19 Pre-Marital Relations
When the Brown children do finally meet the loves of their lives, they can't jump right into adult relations with them no matter how much they may want to. Their union has to remain utterly platonic until the couple walks down the aisle and makes everything official in the eyes of God. In season five of their hit show, Sister Wives, Kody explained to viewers that something as innocent as kissing might release hormones, leading to other acts of showing love. Thus, the Browns 2.0 remain entirely chaste throughout their courtship. This specific view on relations before marriage aligns with the overall outlook on the topic held by most Mormon people.
18 Living Together Before Marriage
The idea of playing house might occur to Brown children when they get serious with a significant other, but they won't get the chance to act on it. Much like kissing and other acts of showing physical love, the Brown family does not practice living together before marriage. Even back when Robyn was courting Kody, hoping to be wife number four, she lived with her children in a separate home. Maddi, Mykelti and Aspyn all followed suit and stayed at a different address than their betrothed while dating or engaged. Even when Aspyn's fiance, Mitch moved to Las Vegas to be near her, he took up residence nearby, not in Aspyn's mother's home.
17 Kids To Be Raised Solely By Bio Moms
The Brown family has a lot of love, a lot of wives and a whole bunch of kids. Thus far, the clan contains wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn. Between the ladies, there are 18 children to care for. Meri and Kody have one daughter. Janelle and Kody have six children between them, as do Christine and Kody, and then Robyn and Kody have two biological kids together. Robyn also has three children from her first marriage to David Jessop, but now those children legally belong to Kody too as he legally married Robyn and adopted her Jessop kids. When it comes to all of that child-rearing, the wives pitch in and help raise the kids jointly.
16 Skipping Of Family Functions
The Brown family loves to celebrate as one, big happy family. Although Meri, Janelle, Robyn, and Christine all had their own homes while living in Las Vegas, they gathered together at one of the abodes whenever they could. Whether it was a bridal shower, a holiday, or just a family BBQ, the Browns try and make every day a family day. Now that several of the Brown offspring are grown and out of the house. The get-togethers are shrinking. The clan recently put down roots in Flagstaff, Arizona and many of the kids chose not to follow the group. Maddie, Logan, Aspyn, and their spouses continue to live in Las Vegas while Mariah lives in Illinois with her girlfriend. Mykelti and Pardon both reside in Utah now while Garrison is traveling the world after completing his basic training program.
15 Skimpy Frocks
The Brown children are being raised with beliefs that align with Mormonism; this means that we probably won't see them strutting around town wearing super short shorts or tube tops. People with this particular set of beliefs are brought up to dress modestly, and Kody and his wives [assed these views on appearance down to their kids. If you observe the show, you'll see that dresses are never short, and spaghetti straps will be paired with a tee shirt underneath. Aspyn Brown really threw everyone for a loop when she chose to walk down the aisle in a wedding dress that showed quite a bit of flesh. While the gown showcased Aspyn's shoulders and neckline, it was still classy and tasteful.
14 Feeling Pressured Into Polygamy
One thing viewers of the show immediately wondered was how many of the Brown kids would eventually follow in their parents' footsteps and choose to live a life of polygamy also. You would think that with so many kiddos in the clan at least a couple would consider having a sister wife or two. So far, none of the next generations of Browns is planning on choosing polygamy. Eldest son Logan has been in a monogamous relationship for years, and while he has plans to marry his now-fiance, that will be the only girl he marries. Daughters Maddie, Mykelti, and Aspyn also have all recently become wives. They too are adamant that polygamy is not for them.
13 Disrespecting A Mom
When it comes to moms, all of the parents raise the kids regardless of who birthed the child. The children refer to their biological mom as "mom" and the other moms by their first name. Each mom has her own set of rules in her domain. Meri, for example, isn't crazy about roughhousing. If the kids want to wrestle around, they will have to head across the road to Janelle or Christine's house. While the moms don't agree on every child rearing practice, they do agree that every kid has to be entirely respectful to all of the mothers, regardless of whose roof they live under.
12 Children With Different Last Names
Every Brown baby has the Brown name, even though Kody is legally only married to Robyn now. It is extremely important that the family is united spiritually, but also by name. When Robyn came into the family as the fourth wife, Kody was married to Meri on paper. Robyn's children from her previous marriage had her ex-husband's name. The family jumped through several hoops so that Kody could divorce first wife Meri, wed his fourth wife Robyn, and then be able to adopt Robyn's children. Dayton, Aurora, and Breanna were made to feel every part Brown as the other children. Now if anything happens to Robyn, her three kids won't be sent away from the Brown family.
11 Excuses For Not Treating Siblings Equally
When Robyn Brown joined the family, she was already the mother to three kids, and as much as the parents wanted the new step-siblings to fuse into their world seamlessly, everything didn't exactly go according to plan. Robyn's kids went through a bit of banter and pitying against by the children of her sister wives, Robyn wasn't about to let that go, and neither were any of the other Brown adults. After years of working on adjusting, everything seems to be in working order with all of the Brown children. Kudos to the adults for jumping in and making it crystal clear that all of the children are equals in their eyes.
10 Their Kids To Halt Their Education
Education is essential to the Brown family. While some extremely conservative Christian faiths don't encourage their kids to pursue higher education, the Browns want their kids to get their learn on. Mariah is currently working on a post-bachelors degree at Loyola University in Chicago and Logan, Mykelti, and Aspyn are also working on their degrees at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Robyn's son Dayton recently got accepted into an Arizona college, so at least he will be close by to his recently relocated family as he pursues his studies. So far the Browns have a pretty solid track record for sending kids off to college.
9 Staying Put For Very Long
Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, Robyn, and the gang never seem to stay in one place for very long. Viewers of the show got a front row seat to the family's dramatic split from Lehi, Utah as they made their way to a less judgemental Las Vegas several years ago. After their stint in the desert though, the Browns are on the move again and have recently purchased 15 acres of land in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona. While fans saw two of the more significant moves broadcasted across television, there were a lot of other moves that the family made long before becoming reality stars. They have moved over a dozen times, and according to Kody, this last move to Arizona might not be their last!
8 Making Their Kids Feel Like They Can't Come Back Home
The Brown kids are leaving the nest in droves and starting lives of their own. When viewers first met this famous reality family, all of the kids were still living at home, and a few of them had yet even to be born! Logan, Mariah, Garrison, Hunter, Aspyn, Mykelti, and Maddie have all left the homestead and moved on to college, military, or marriage. Even though the kids up and move as soon as they can, the Brown parents have made it clear that they can always come home. This past season we watched Maddie and her husband Caleb move closer to Kody and Janelle temporarily, and Mariah and Audrey also made a pit stop back home before taking up residence in Illinois so that Mariah could do her post-graduate work at Loyola University.
7 Their Kids To Feel Insecure About How They Live
When the Browns were living in Lehi, Utah, they had to spend their everyday undercover. Because of the views there regarding polygamy, they could not be out in the open, sharing their lifestyle with the world. Their move to Las Vegas allowed them to live openly and freely and most importantly it allowed them to show their children that their way of life was nothing to be uncomfortable about or hide. The kids certainly had to adjust to public life, but in the end, they have learned that there is nothing sinister or wrong about what their parents chose. We may not agree with all views that Kody and his wives have, but we agree that the kids shouldn't ever feel bad for how their parents choose to live.
6 They Do Encourage Their Kids To Travel And Experience The World
The Browns might be conservative in the majority of their life views, but they do encourage their kids to get out there and see all that the world has to offer. Those Browns 2.0s seem happy to take their parents advice and the older crew has been all over the globe in recent years. Garrison Brown completed his military program and has been traveling around the world, and Aspyn and her new husband took their love overseas to Europe for their honeymoon. Mariah has settled in the midwest, and the younger Browns are making camp in Arizona. The Brown family does seem to love to move about
5 They Are Okay With Alternative Lifestyles
Mormons typically don't encourage people of their faith to explore alternative lifestyles. They are relatively conservative by all accounts. The Browns have had to loosen up on those conservative views over the years because not all of their children live a traditional lifestyle. Mariah and her partner Audrey, are now living in Chicago and gearing up to get hitched. Their relationship wasn't something the Brown parents had experienced with any of their children, so Mariah's lifestyle was a learning curve for the whole gang. In the end, everyone accepted Mariah and Audrey with loving, open arms. Proving that the kids' happiness does come before all.
4 They Allow Choosing A Religion
Logan and Mariah have publicly cleared the air letting fans know that they are not practicing Mormons. While every other Brown is still hovering within the faith, two of the elder Browns have decided their family's religion is not their cup of tea. Both siblings have been adamant that they will not choose to live a life of polygamy and they also don't follow Mormon guidelines of dress and lifestyle. So what do Kody and his wives think about their kids' choices? According to the Inquisitr.com, the Browns seem more concerned that their children grow up to be good people and live their lives as happily as possible as opposed to remaining devout in the Mormon beliefs.
3 An Occasional Glass Or Two Is Fine
Mormons, generally speaking, are a pretty dry lot of people. They don't often indulge in adult beverages. Kody and his wives stick pretty closely to this church value, although we have seen Meri take a sip or two while touring wineries. The kids have far more freedom when it comes to having a glass. Logan and his girlfriend Michelle make no secret that they enjoy certain beverages, and Mariah, too, will serve herself something if the mood strikes her. Both Logan and Mariah have made public statements that they don't belong to the Mormon church any longer, so they aren't exactly breaking any rules.
2 Services For Special Needs Children Are Okay
When Robyn Brown gave birth to her first child Dayton, she didn't have any preconceived notions about how child development or parenthood would look. To her, Dayton was perfect and beautiful, and she loved being a mother. It wasn't until her baby was a bit older that Robyn started to recognize that Dayton struggled with gross motor skills and fixate on unusual interests for extended periods. His aversions to textures, inability to make solid eye contact with others, and struggles to make friends served as a red flag for school personnel who wanted to help Dayton be his best self. When the school counselor approached Robyn and suggested testing, she was totally open to doing whatever she could to help her son. Since then she has become his most significant support, and the hard work that both of them have put into his education and growth has helped Dayton get into a top university.
1 They Do Give Their Kids Time To Find The Right Person
Couples in Kody Brown's faith tend to quickly court and move directly into marriage and procreation. Some of the Brown kids have kept with the tradition of quick unions. Maddie and Mykelti both made short work of courting and Aspyn and Mitch clearing courted with the intent of marriage. The parents have all been tickled pink with the choices that their kids have made for partners, but they are also at ease with their offspring taking their time in selecting their forever partner. Oldest son Logan recently announced that he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Michelle Petty. Logan and Michelle dated for three years and were friends for five years before committing to marriage.