The 18-year-old former reality star, who is one of the Gosselin sextuplets, sits down with ET’s Kevin Frazier for an exclusive one-on-one interview, where he reflects on his experiences starring on TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” as a child along with his seven siblings and parents, and his falling out with his mom. “Jon & Kate Plus 8” ran for several seasons from 2007 to 2017, and was later called “Kate Plus 8” after Kate’s split from Jon Gosselin.
Kate revealed several years ago that Collin had been put in an institution to help him deal with his alleged behavioural issues. Upon leaving the institution, Collin went to live with his father and he says any connection to his mom has been severed after the experience.
“After being there, I didn’t have a relationship with her,” Collin tells ET. “Even before [being] there, I don’t think we had much of a relationship and I think that just kept tearing it even more down.”
Looking back at the drama and eventual estrangement with his mom, Collin says he feels it stems from the pressures of having your family star on a reality TV show.
“I want to believe it was because of TV and what being in the public eye does to a family. I think it tore us apart,” Collin shares. “It gave us less time to actually be together as a family, [and] more time to be in the public eye.”
Thinking back to the friction and what he viewed as negative experiences with his mom as a kid, Collin claims it “was worse than what you would say the average teenage kid goes through with their parent.”
Because of this, Collin says he learned some lessons that have helped him understand and contextualize his turbulent childhood.
“I came to the conclusion that everybody has their own agenda, you know?” Collin explains. “My mom had her own agenda, and I don’t know exactly what that was. But I was put in a tough spot and my agenda was to make it out on top of that tough spot.”
Despite their conflicts and very public falling out, Collin tells ET he would be open to the possibility of reconciliation with his mother, and wishes he had a better relationship with Kate throughout his formative years.
“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have a relationship,” Collin says. “I think every son wants to have a relationship with their mom. But I’m doing very well.”
When asked if he would still welcome a relationship with Kate, Collin says, “Yes, it would be ideal.”
Despite the struggles and challenges he’s faced in his 18 years, Collin’s outlook remains overwhelmingly positive and the message he hopes to share is one of hope and kindness.
“I want to say that in life we all go through hard things. We all get knocked down, we all experience really, really difficult things,” he shares, “But don’t sit around and mourn and cry about it, address the situation you’re in and fix it and come out on top of it. Because resilience is a really important thing.”
As for the message he hopes to express, Collin simply wants people to “spread kindness and love.”
“My one message to everybody, to the world, in general, is just be kind to people,” he continues. “It’s really not that hard, you know? Be kind, talk to people, hear other people’s stories, just spread kindness.”
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