Kody Brown said his daughter, Ysabel, needed to make a choice between seeing him or her friends.
He also said that she shouldn’t be “bitter” if her choice meant he couldn’t see her in person.
All of the mothers in the Brown family expressed discomfort with Kody’s words.
Kody Brown’s strict precautions related to COVID-19 safety interfered with his ability to see his children on Sunday’s episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives.”
During a Zoom call with his three wives and his ex-wife, Christine, Kody discussed the likelihood that he would visit his children that didn’t live with his fourth wife, Robyn, now that school was going to be held in person.
Christine considered her marriage to Kody over at the time of the discussion (likely filmed in spring 2021), but she hadn’t told her former sister wives of her decision to leave yet.
All of Kody’s children except for Ysabel, his then-18-year-old daughter with Christine who was in her senior year of high school at the time, had chosen to stay at home and go to school virtually.
“After graduation, well, she doesn’t want to stay in Flagstaff. So, she always has known that and because of it she’s got only a few more weeks with her friends,” Christine said of her daughter’s reasoning to attend school in person.
On Sunday’s episode, Kody remained silent when Christine asked him if he would visit Ysabel when she started going back to school in person. His second wife, Janelle, mentioned that there would be “strict protocols” at the school for safety.
Kody was cautious about in-person school because kids would be “breathing the same air” for hours.
He told cameras that he thought both Janelle and Christine’s pressure came from a desire to “catch me in some kind of COVID protocols hypocrisy.” He said he wanted to see Ysabel, but Christine wasn’t “accommodating” his desire to see her safely by traveling.
In the meeting with the Brown women, Kody mentioned that he had asked that Breanna, Robyn’s teenage daughter who he’d adopted, keep going to school online so that he could see her. Christine took issue with Kody’s choice.
“So, he asks Breanna to not go back to school in person because he wants to be around her, but he says Isabel can go back?” she asked the cameras rhetorically in a solo interview. “Gosh, Ysabel would love a phone call from her dad saying ‘can you please not go back to school in person so I can come see you?'”
When Christine directly asked Kody on the video call if she was to let her daughter know of her options, Kody made clear that he wanted Ysabel to know she would be “choosing.”
Janelle mentioned that Kody could visit Ysabel outside in the yard and stay six feet apart, but in a confessional interview, Kody said that was an “inconvenience” because of the weather.
“I need her to just make her own choice and then not be bitter about anyone else having to react to that choice,” he said of Ysabel.
“Teenage kids don’t need parents quite like preteens do,” Kody told the women in the meeting. He said he prioritized seeing 12-year-old Truely, his youngest daughter with Christine, because she’s “engaging” while conversing with him.
In confessional interviews throughout the episode, all of the Brown women expressed that all of Kody’s children needed him, no matter their age.
New episodes of “Sister Wives” season 17 air Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.
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