Is It Bad To Raise Kids In A Polygamist Family, With One Dad And Multiple Moms?

Fri, September 24, 2010 4:00pm EDT by 16 Comments

Kody Brown, a fundamentalist Mormon father of 13, and his three (soon to be four) wives are putting their polygamous family on display in the new show Sister Wives. Many people are outraged over the new show, but at HollyBaby.com we can’t help but wonder if this kind of lifestyle is really healthy for the kids.

On the outside, Kody Brown — the star of TLC’s new reality show Sister Wives (premiering Sept. 26) — seems like a regular Joe. When he’s not working as a salesman, he enjoys spending time with his kids and playing with his dog in the yard. But there is one big thing that sets him apart from most other fathers. He’s got THREE wives. After being married to Meri, 39, Janelle, 40, and Christine, 37, for the past 16 years, he’s now looking to bring a younger woman, Robyn, 31, into the family, much to the other ladies dismay. How are Robyn’s three children from a previous marriage going to adjust to their new life with multiple mommies? According to relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Robyn’s kids are likely to have a hard time adjusting to their new life. “They are about to be upstaged by a bunch of children they don’t even know,” she tells HollyBaby.com. “Going from a small family to a giant one is overwhelming, They’re in for a lot of culture shock.”

Divorce is hard enough on a kid, especially when a parent starts dating again, so we can’t fathom what kind of trauma can come from trying to adjust to living with your new dad, his three other wives — and 13 kids! Dr. Gilda says that Robyn should have thought twice before throwing her family into this new environment. “She should have considered the fact that her own children have to make a radical change because of her decision,” she says. “Kids don’t want to leave the security they’ve come to know and now they’re going to have to compete for their mother’s attention with lots and lots of kids.”

He’s already got 13 kids ranging in age from 5 to 15-years-old with his original wives; plus, third wife Christine is pregnant. How on earth can the Browns give that many children all of the attention, love, support and encouragement they need to grow into well-adjusted adults? Dr. Gilda tells HollyBaby.com that there’s no way the kids are going to get enough one-on-one time with their parents. “These parents only have so much time in a day to devote to their little ones,” says Dr. Gilda, warning that if the Browns can’t focus enough attention on their youngest ones, that responsibility will fall to the older kids. “And that’s not fair,” she adds.

Despite their unconventional upbringing, Janelle, the second wife, swears that they work hard to give the kids a healthy home life. “If we raise productive, contributing members of society, who are moral and ethical, that’s our final goal,” she says, adding that they don’t mind if the kids decide not to follow in their polygamist footsteps. “As long as they are strong and firm in what they want to do and what they want to believe,” agrees first wife, Meri, who’s the only one legally married to him. “They can choose what they want to do,” adds Robyn.

Personally, we think the women are fooling themselves if they think that their teenagers are going to be able to have normal, healthy relationships with the opposite sex. “There is going to be a lot of confusion,” agrees Dr. Gilda. “Kids look to their parents to be the role model for healthy relationships. If Robyn went from a monogamous marriage into a polygamist one, how are her kids supposed to formulate their own standards in the future? I foresee a lot of rebelling when they become teenagers,” she adds.

Some of the kids already know that sharing spouses isn’t for them. “If it was my husband with another woman, I’d be ripping her hair out,” admits Janelle’s 14-year-old daughter, Madison, who admits that while she likes her family, she’s not planning to share her future-husband. “I just want one guy.”

–Amy L. Harper

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testdomain

Posted at 10:47 AM on March 17, 2013  

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Joy

Posted at 6:38 AM on October 3, 2010  

This man is selfish. I feel sorry for these women to have to share him. He’s breaking the law. I saw previews and the women looked jealous at the new women. I think she is crazy for wanting to get with this guy. He is not afraid of the police. Our countries morals are going down hill. Everybody’s doing what right in their own eyes. Where do we draw the line.

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mishalah

Posted at 2:15 PM on March 20, 2011  

Since the door has been opened to “gay” marriage, how do you think this is compared? If the legal boundaries are broken from the traditional “one man, one woman” union, then ANY union of ANY kind must be accepted or be called “discrimination”.

That makes polygamy by consenting adults look “not so bad”, doesn’t it.

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Melu

Posted at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2010  

And why hasn’t the authorities stepped in since polygamy IS AGAINST THE LAW!

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mishalah

Posted at 2:10 PM on March 20, 2011  

It isn’t against the law to cohabitate (at least, where they are. The first wife is the only state sanctioned “legal” one. The others are married by ceremony but not by license and legally filed UT papers. Of course, their relationship is most likely protected by other legal documents if Kody-child dies or leaves.

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jasper

Posted at 4:52 PM on September 27, 2010  

I think we should ask that question after a year or so on reality tv.

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Katie

Posted at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2010  

This article wasn’t very open minded. You force fed negativites and failed to get a positive source of information on this situation. I want to see both sides of a story, not just one that you lead your readers to believe.

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Beth

Posted at 12:48 AM on September 27, 2010  

Can you imagine the nightmare this lifestyle would make for the legal system if we ever allowed it to be legitimized?

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Rich

Posted at 7:15 AM on September 27, 2010  

I hope that all of those objecting to this lifestyle have prepared themselves to be called “polyphobes” & to be instructed to stop their “hate speech” & “bigotry”.

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Beth

Posted at 1:58 PM on September 27, 2010  

LOL, great comment. I bet you’re right.

 
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Moderate Mouse

Posted at 8:36 PM on September 26, 2010  

I thought the Mormons stopped doing the polygamy thing a long time ago. (But then, maybe I’m wrong, as I am not nor have ever been a Mormon. I was raised Baptist, and in that denomination, there’s no such thing as polygamy that I know of.)

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ShootingStar

Posted at 9:07 PM on September 26, 2010  

They are fundamentalists, NOT Mormons. The Mormon church outlawed polygamy back in the 1800’s so that Utah could become a state. You can’t be Mormon and polygamous.

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Shayne

Posted at 7:52 PM on September 26, 2010  

I think it’s ridiculous that the argument is “they can’t show that many kids love.”

Um, have you ever heard of the Duggars?

I personally wouldn’t want to partake in this lifestyle, but who are we to judge? There’s a least one thing EVERYONE does that isn’t for everyone else. Suck it up, people.

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Beth

Posted at 12:55 AM on September 27, 2010  

“who are we to judge?’

We are rational beings (for the most part) that are able to discern and institute meaningful constructs for society.

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Belinda

Posted at 7:07 PM on September 26, 2010  

There are a lot of unhealthy ways to raise kids. A lot of parents feed their kids fast food and have toxic monogamous (or supposedly monogamous) relationships. This really doesn’t seem that bad in comparison.

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Achap

Posted at 9:40 AM on September 25, 2010  

I wish that poll and a third option, “I wouldn’t bring up my children that way, but it’s their life. I won’t judge them.”

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