To differentiate between XBees I would have a specific XBee send an identifying integer, and then a string of data. The coordinator would be set up to only read
Sounds like a room full of kindergarteners all shouting at once.
I've read that people get interference from other XBees as they are sending data at the same time so the coordinator buffer just gets filled up as first come first serve.
That they do.
I am posting to see if I should look at different ways,
Yes, you should. The key is in the the first sentence of your post:
I have to have a coordinator
Teachers don't let students all talk whenever they feel like it. You shouldn't either (let all the end devices talk whenever they want).
Call on each XBee when you want to hear from it.