He may only have custody of Collin and Hannah, but Jon Gosselin is “slowly but surely” trying to build healthy bonds with his other six kids, Mady, Cara, Aaden, Joel, Leah and Alexis. An insider close to the former Jon and Kate Plus 8 star exclusively tells In Touch the father “does talk to his other children,” and “those relationships are healing” over time. “Jon is doing his best,” the source says. “He has high hopes that his entire family will all be on good terms. He loves all his kids.”

On May 9, he took to social media to share a birthday shout-out for all six sextuplets. “Happy 16th birthday to Hannah [and] Collin!!! I miss you, Leah, Joel, Alexis and Aaden. I hope your 16th birthday is just as memorable!!!” Jon, 43, wrote in an Instagram photo. In the caption, he added, “Happy 16th to my six wonderful kids!! Been a long road. I wish all the best!!! Wow, 16!!!! Love you all!!!”

Though the father of eight “knows he wasn’t always perfect,” the insider says he’s ‘in a good place” with his family now. “He’s just trying to do his best and be there for his kids, all of them.” But, unfortunately, it seems his ex-wife, Kate Gosselin, isn’t trying to do the same with her estranged children. “As far as I know, Kate has stepped back from Hannah and Collin. It’s very sad.”

Collin, 16, is equally uninterested in “trying to repair” their bond after she sent him to a facility for children with special needs in 2015. Ever since Jon, 43, won custody, the reality TV kid has “no relationship” with his mom. He even seemingly snubbed her on Mother’s Day by shouting out his dad’s girlfriend, Colleen Conrad, instead.

“I don’t think ‘mother’ can describe all the things Colleen has done for me,” the teenager wrote on May 10. “Yes, a mother clothes her children and cooks for them but it’s the best feeling when your mother or mother figure is one of your best friends and always has your back, the one who always shares that laugh of the humor only you guys get. … Thank you doesn’t say enough. I love you so much, and you’ve done so much for me that [makes] you my strong, happy, loving and awesome mother figure. You’re irreplaceable.”

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