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Nikkole Paulun recently posted a photo of her 6-year-old son picking up the tab on one of their mother-son dates. Little did she know that what she thought was a sweet parenting lesson would fire up the Internet.
The "16 and Pregnant" star and mom of two wrote that her son Lyle takes her out for a dinner date once a month. He opens doors for her, pulls out the chair for her and even pays for the restaurant bill—15 percent tip included—from the money he earns by doing chores. Mom and son would talk about their days and put away their screens.
Nikkole, who is now 22, explains, "By doing this I am teaching him how to treat a lady ... how to take her on a proper date" and "how to show that he respects the woman he loves (right now, that would be Mommy)."
"I'm teaching him proper table manners," Nikkole continues, "and that it's rude to sit on your phone on a date with your mom or with anyone else."
Fans of the MTV show might remember Lyle's dad, Joshua Drummonds, who Nikkole later accused of physical and emotional abuse.
"As a woman who has been abused & treated like crap in the past, it's extremely important to me that I teach my son how to show respect."
While many parents support Nikkole's parenting example, even saying that they hope that their daughters will grow up to meet men like Lyle who "treat her exactly as she should be treated," others are not really buying the lesson on chivalry.
"The measure of a good man is not just in their dating ability," one commenter writes. "And respect can be cultivated without throwing around money."
Another top commenter argues, "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."
Whether you agree or disagree with her method, what does ring true in Nikkole's post is her hope to instill respect:
"Yes he is young but I believe this is something he should learn now. It's never too early to teach your child how to properly respect others, especially women."