Mum Evict

Reporter: Damien Hansen

Booted from her own bedroom, 11-year-old Rebekah Patrick's been evicted from her room because she couldn't keep it tidy. But what's more surprising is mother Kim is a parenting expert, who is supposed to have all the answers for those parents with problem children.

Kim made the radical decision to ban Rebekah after her repeated calls to tidy her room fell on deaf ears. "My philosophy is if I'm spending good money on clothing, I expect my child to be grateful and to treat it with respect", Kim said.

After failing to shape up, Rebekah was shipped out. She now calls a mattress on the lounge room floor home. "I get to move back into my bedroom at the start of next month if i keep this one clean", Rebekah said.It's a hardline approach that sees Rebekah living out of a suitcase -- any clothes left on the floor .are confiscated.Rebekah, understandably, is not happy. "The sun wakes me up in the morning, shines through the door. I have to every morning pull my sheets up and make it look tidy and set my suitcase up before I go to school and stuff like that", Rebekah said.

"Some people would say I am being too strict, some people would say I'm being pushed to do this because of so many years of untidiness. I really want her to learn good life skills when she grows up and gets married -- I'd like her to have tidy room", Kim said."I think just taking unilateral action to evict a child from their bedroom is sending all the wrong messages", Dr Joe Tucci.

Dr. Tucci is a psychologist and President of the Australian Childhood Foundation and believes Kim's approach won't work for everybody. "I don't think children need to get message that they're the ones being rejected for what everyone else in the family gets to have and I think that kind of message isn't a helpful message", he added."I guess there is a certain amount that can be tolerated. I have two children that have semi tidy rooms and I'm quite happy about that. But it becomes an issue when I can't walk into the door without standing on something and breaking something", Kim said. And the same rules apply for her other three children -- her eldest son David has had his room repossessed as well. "Being eighteen, I shouldn't have to be asked to clean my room and the consequences follow", David said.

This isn't the first time the self-taught parenting guru's unconventional mothering methods have attracted attention. Kim's had success curbing her children's bad behaviour with hypnosis. And as for Rebekah's bedroom -- it's off limits and is even up for rent. "Sunshine Coast Uni is only ten minutes away and I can get $150 rental from someone who appreciated having a nice room and home cooked meals. So if she doesn't to the line, I might have to rent out the room", Kim said."What all parents need to understand is that kids generally respond to positive motivation, positive reinforcement for the behaviour you want them to do" Dr. Tucci said.

For more information visit Kim's website at:

www.yourchildcanbehave.com/todaytonight