The youth was playing basketball in his driveway Wednesday when Richie, taping a "The Simple Life 4" episode for E!, approached and asked if he thought she was a "MILF," the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
When the little boy said he did not understand, Richie reportedly replied: "It means a 'mother I'd like to (expletive).'"
The boy's father, who was close enough to witness the exchange, refused to sign a release for the clip to be included in the show and lodged a complaint with Bunim-Murray Productions.
The parents told the newspaper the off-color remark accelerated the need for a family "talk" they had hoped to have a little later than sooner.
"I'm 90 percent mad but a little part of me says, 'Stop being a prude,'" the mother said. "I guess I just don't want my son to grow up that fast."