Janelle Brown shares her thoughts about her grown children's relationships, telling PEOPLE : "Polygamy is hard, and I think you really do have to have a religious conviction, and they just don't"
"None of our children have chosen to live polygamy. We don't even have any really that are in the Mormon church, the mainstream [Latter-Day Saints] church," Janelle, 54, tells PEOPLE. "When they were growing up, we always just encouraged them to have a relationship with God, and I think many of them do in their own way. ... I think polygamy is hard, and I think you really do have to have a religious conviction, and they just don't."
"Some of our kids have seen how hard it is, and some of our kids have seen the separation,” Christine, 51, tells PEOPLE, referring to her November 2021 split from Paedon's dad Kody Brown. (Christine also shares children Aspyn, Mykelti, Gwendlyn, Ysabel and Truely with the Sister Wives patriarch, who has a total of 18 kids ranging in ages 7 to 29 from his marriages to Christine, Janelle, Robyn Brown and Meri Brown)
Christine adds of her (mostly) grown children: “They see how hard it is and they're like, 'No, no, no, no, no. No, that's not for me.'"
“We had this vision that the children would be raised together as siblings, and we tried living in one house as long as we could until we didn't fit anymore,” she recalls. “We were really about that dream. That big picture was our dream.”
While only Robyn, 44, remains married to Kody, Janelle said all of their kids have stayed close.
“The kids are all the same,” Janelle says. “The kids still are the kids. They all interact, and I interact with the kids the same as I always did. The kids all really feel like their siblings. With Christine and I, we're very close, there's a lot of camaraderie. With Meri and Robin and Kody, to some degree, it's still very polite, superficial, not antagonistic — it's not mean.”
And though Janelle and Kody confirmed last December that they had separated after nearly 30 years of spiritual marriage, she says the kids have remained "the priority."
“Even with the personality differences, we really made it work," she says. "And I think we had something really amazing.”
Christine feels like some members of the family haven’t patched up their differences.
“It's difficult being around everybody,” she acknowledges. “We had a family event recently where all the adults were in the same area for a few hours. Some of us get along great, but memories and hopes and experience are still too different for all of us. When we see each other we are cordial, but not a lot of conversations between us.”
While Christine said the family functions “separately” these days, she hopes that changes.
“I'm hopeful that we someday we can function as a family again,” she tells PEOPLE. “I think we have smaller separate families that bump into each other like boats on the water and it causes ripples and it's bumpy. Sometimes it's very rough waters, but eventually, hopefully, we can be around each other and it will be calm.”
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Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.
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