Inside Kate Gosselin's relationship with her children today

Viewers first met Kate Gosselin and her eight children in September 2006, when Discovery Health aired a special called Surviving Sextuplets and Twins. The segment, which aired two years after the sextuplet's birth, depicted life at home for a seemingly overwhelmed Kate and her then-husband, Jon Gosselin. fans fell in love with the sextuplets (Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah, and Leah) and the older twins (Cara and Madelyn), leading the family to score another special and their own television series, Jon & Kate Plus 8

As for Kate's parenting style, some critics found her too overbearing and controlling, characteristics that ultimately launched her into reality TV stardom. And even after Kate and Jon split in June 2009, the mom continued to run a tight ship with her eight kids on the spin-off, Kate Plus 8. You don't mess with mama bear Kate, folks. 

Not too surprisingly, some fans have questioned how Kate's strict parenting style might have influenced the relationship she has with her children today. Have they grown up to resent her, for instance? Or are they thankful for her no-nonsense attitude? We answer these questions and more as we take a look inside Kate Gosselin's relationship with her children today.

Are Collin and Kate estranged?

Many Kate Plus 8 fans expressed surprise when Kate Gosselin revealed that she enrolled her son, Collin Gosselin, in a live-in facility near the family's Pennsylvania home. "Collin has special needs," Kate told People in August 2016. "[There's] a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things."

Following a few years of treatment, Collin left the facility in December 2018 to live with his dad, Jon Gosselin. "He is not on any spectrum or special needs," Jon, who won temporary sole custody, alleged to a curious fan at the time (via Us Weekly).

We don't want to get into a debate about Collin's diagnosis (it's a private family matter), but we can address the speculation surrounding whether Kate still interacts with her son. Jon seemingly implied to another commenter on Instagram that his ex-wife has had "zero" contact with Collin ever since he won temporary sole custody. What's even more interesting? Kate reportedly didn't show up to the hearing regarding custody of Collin. Hmm

"It was just easier for the transition," Jon said about the custody arrangement (via People). "So it'd be easier for one parent to just transition him home, and he wanted to live with me, so it was easier to do it that way."

Of course, what's most important here is Collin's happiness. We wish him well.

Kate is allegedly Collin's 'trigger'

Kate Gosselin's relationship with her son, Collin Gosselin, has often been the subject of rumors and speculation. Every time Kate shares a picture of her kids to social media, many fans chime in with questions about Collin and his whereabouts. "Why is Collin never in any pictures," one fan asked in May 2018.

We don't know the ins and outs of Kate's dynamic with Collin, but court documents obtained by Radar Online allege that isn't healthy. The claim was made in October 2018, just months before Jon Gosselin was awarded temporary sole custody of his son. "It would not be in the best interests of the minor child … to have independent time with mother or to have mother share legal custody of the minor child because mother has not cooperated with the child's treatment and is a 'trigger' for the minor child," Jon's lawyers claimed in court records. 

Kate hasn't addressed these allegations outright, but she did reveal in February 2019 that she's "close with all" of her children. We guess this is a classic case of he said, she said.

Kate's relationship with Hannah is supposedly complicated

Collin Gosselin isn't the only child who lives with his dad, Jon Gosselin — Hannah Gosselin reportedly moved in to his Pennsylvania house sometime in August 2017. We're not sure if she's there full time, but In Touch Weekly reported that Jon was awarded 50/50 custody of Hannah. "Jon and Kate had an emergency hearing with a judge after Hannah refused to go back to Kate's house," the source shared with the publication. "The judge granted Jon equal custody of Hannah until he and Kate go to trial." Jon alleged in December 2018, however, that his daughter lives with him "full time."

Jon's mother, Pamela Gosselin Castello, claimed to Life & Style that Kate is punishing Hannah as a result of her decision. "Hannah said that Kate told them [the kids] not to talk to her in order to teach her a lesson," she alleged (via Hollywood Life). "Hannah also said Kate took the children shopping for school supplies but wouldn't buy her anything. She is punishing her."

Of course, we can't say whether Castello's allegations are valid. This is a sensitive issue and we hope all is OK for everyone involved.

Kate knows she isn't perfect

It's no secret that Kate Gosselin can come across as an overbearing, meticulous, and strict parent at times. Fans have criticized her parenting style throughout the years, a sentiment Kate has addressed before. "People have a lot of contempt and hate for me," she said in November 2009 (via Us Weekly). 

Although Kate doesn't completely regret her behavior, she admitted in February 2019 that she has gone overboard on occasion. "I am a very protective parent, as you probably know. It comes from a place of love," Kate shared during a press event, according to People. "I do think that I care so deeply that I have been, at times, overzealous." We bet a lot of parents can relate to this sentiment — many people just want the best for their kids.

Kate's twins, Cara and Mady, have also defended their controversial upbringing, denying that they're "damaged" as a result. "It's so false, we're fine," Cara told People in January 2014. "We're better than ever, actually."

Co-parenting has been tough

Anyone who has followed Kate Gosselin throughout the years probably already knows that her relationship with ex-husband Jon Gosselin has been bumpy, to say the least. From custody disagreements, to fights about new partners, the pair's post-divorce relationship hasn't been easy. And sadly, not much has changed since their split in 2009, even where it concerns co-parenting.

"We don't have a relationship, we don't talk," Jon told Access during a December 2018 press event for WE tv's Real Love: Relationship Reality TV's Past, Present & Future. "It's very, It's not even business, it's just nothing. … Which is sad, because co-parenting would have been a process — it's just nothing," he added. "It's just her way and my way and that's it." 

Jon also stressed (via Today) how the situation has taken a toll on his relationship with some of his children, telling the outlet that maintaining contact has been tough. "It's what the kids want to do," he said about the fractured relationships. "If they don't want to talk to me, that's fine, as long as they keep up with their sibling connections."

We don't doubt that this is a complicated situation with many layers. Here's to hoping that Kate and Jon can put their differences aside one day for the sake of their children.

The twins want Kate to find love

TLC first announced the premiere date of Kate Gosselin's new dating reality show, Kate Plus Date, in May 2019. Kate's adult twin daughters, Cara and Mady, also star on the series, "weighing in and helping" their mom as she navigates the tricky world of romance. But how do they really feel about Kate's foray into the dating pool? Are they in it for the paycheck or are they truly jazzed about Kate finding Mr. Right? As it turns out, the twins are incredibly supportive of their mom's love life.

"We've been nudging her to date for years," Mady said while promoting the show, according to E! News. "We're all, all eight of us, are so glad that she finally is. She deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy." How sweet, right? It's clear the high school graduates want the best for their mother.

Although it remains to be seen whether Kate will find her perfect match, we have a good feeling that the twins will have her back every step of the way. 

Kate is always thinking about her kids

Although dating might be uncomfortable for Kate Gosselin (she hasn't had a confirmed paramour since splitting from Jon Gosselin in 2009), she wants to find someone who could be a "friend" to her kids. "I would love my kids to have a mutual friendship and respect with this guy and for him to be someone they can ask for advice," she said during a February 2019 press event, according to People. "It would be great for my kids to have someone they can feel like is a real friend." Aww. It's sweet that Kate is making her kids a priority in this whole dating thing — it's obvious she's always thinking about them no matter what.

Luckily for Kate, her twins, Cara and Mady, will help in the search for true love. In fact, Mady had some interesting advice for her mom on the topic of first dates. "First dates are definitely not supposed to be romantic," she joked in a trailer for the new show. "They're about finding out if the person's a serial killer or not." Ha!

She's a proud mama

A common debate among parents centers around whether children should appear on reality television or not. Kate Gosselin has long defended her decision to feature her eight kiddos on reality television, arguing during a February 2019 press event that all of her kids are thriving despite growing up alongside a camera crew.

"As far as Mady and Cara, particularly, and all the kids, I think that they're such good girls that I don't have to keep after them," she revealed, according to People. "They're self-driven. They have goals and dreams, and they're just good kids."

The mom also praised her children's decision making skills, adding: "They're very wise, good decision-makers. I don't know what I did to deserve such amazing kids, but they blow me away every day." How sweet. There's nothing more heartwarming than a proud parent, and it sounds like the mom has hit the jackpot with her fabulous kids.  

Dynamics are changing

After the news of Kate Gosselin's dating show broke in May 2019, Jon Gosselin sounded off on the development in an interview with HLN, revealing which kids will appear on the project. "Two of the kids live with me, so those two won't be on her dating show, and I'm pretty sure the other four won't be either," he shared. "But I know, obviously, Mady and Cara are on the dating show."

It's unclear if Kate is slowly transitioning the sextuplets out of reality TV or how this change could affect their dynamic. But just because some of the children won't be on her new show, it doesn't mean the mom has changed her attitude towards filming with kids. "I feel like, more than anything, it has enriched their lives," she argued, according to E! News. "It has made them world-wise and taught them a lot about people's intentions I think more so than other kids their age." Translation: To each their own.