Controversy over '16 and Pregnant' star's dinner date with 6-year-old son

'16 and Pregnant' star sparks controversy with Facebook post.
'16 and Pregnant' star sparks controversy with Facebook post.  Photo: Facebook/Nikkole Paulun

Six-year-old Lyle Drummond is too young to date. But once a month he treats his mum to a nice dinner, paying for it out of his own allowance.

Reality TV star Nikkole Paulun posted a picture on Facebook of her son opening his wallet to pay for the meal they had eaten. In the post accompanying the photo, Paulun explained the purpose of their "dates" is to teach her son to treat women with respect.

"He opens doors for me, pulls out my chair, talks about his day & asks me how mine was, pays the bill with money he earned by doing chores, and even tips the waiter/waitress," Paulun wrote.

"I am teaching him how to treat a lady and how to take her on a proper date. How to show that he respects the woman he loves (right now that would be mummy)."

Paulun, who appeared in season two of 16 and Pregnant, adds that no electronics are used during dinner.

"We put our phone and iPad away (except to take this photo), and sit and talk to each other about our days, things we want to do, etc."

"He learns the value of money and how to manage it. He learns how to do math as we add up what we want and make sure we have 15 per cent of it to leave for a tip."

Acknowledging that her son is young, she believes it's never too early to "teach your child how to properly respect others, especially women."

Once a month my 6 year old son takes me out on a dinner date. He opens doors for me, pulls out my chair, talks about his...

Posted by Nikkole Paulun on  Friday, January 1, 2016

Speaking to ABC News, the 22-year-old mother of two said she came up with the idea after being "treated poorly in the past."

"I see so many girls I know get treated badly, and I wanted to make sure my son didn't grow up to be like that. I suggested we start doing mummy-son dates and he loved the idea, and still does."

The Facebook post has been liked over 2,000,000 times and shared over 500,000 times.

The reaction, however, has been mixed. 

While some think the mother and son dates are a "lovely idea", with many sharing similar "dates" they've had with their own children, others don't like the idea of Lyle spending his hard-earned allowance to pay for dinner.

"I don't like the idea that you make your son spend money he earns by doing chores on taking you for dinner," said one commenter. "I get the idea behind it, but it's a little unfair to suggest that unless you make him do that then he'll turn out to be a bad guy when it comes to women. He may grow to resent the fact that you expect him to take you to dinner with the money he earns, which is an actual problem in relationships now."

But Paulun says she would never force her son to do something he didn't want to do.

"He prefers to spend his money doing something special with me than to spend money on toys. He already has his game station, toys, and things he wants," she replied in the comments.

Besides, it's not about the money, which she says she gives him extra to pay for their dates; it's about "having a special day for just us two is something he truly cherishes and looks forward to."

Despite the negative comments, Paulun says she has already seen a positive change in her son and the way he interacts with others.

"I have seen him use his politeness everywhere," said Paulun. "He will ask people who come over questions about their day or their life. It's so cute."