Stepping Out Blog

Semi Independent Living: How to Introduce & Enforce House Rules

Carers involved with Semi Independent Living environments need to be aware of certain strategies when it comes to introducing and enforcing house rules.

Here at Stepping Out, we have been creating and managing semi-independent living projects for many years. Throughout our history, we have thankfully been able to produce some extremely positive outcomes for a number of both young people and adults.

Semi independent Living

For introducing and enforcing house rules in such environments, here are a few simple, but effective tips:

1) Explain the Benefits

Instead of focusing on the harm rule breaking brings, try to incorporate the goodness that following rules can bring about. Smoking indoors for example, is now against the Law. However, be sure to follow this up by mentioning how smoking outdoors will help keep the house and the service users clothes smelling better.

Putting this beneficial twist on rules can often make the resident want to keep things in order. Also, it allows you to come across friendlier – even when you’re explaining restrictions.

2) Be Stern Yet Balanced

When explaining and enforcing the house rules, be stern. If certain rule breaking comes with consequences, be sure to carry out those consequences without fail.

However, it’s also important to find a balance. Try not to impose too many unnecessary rules. Set out guidelines to keep the house in order, but don’t go overboard with the nitty gritties.

Also, offer the young person or adult a way to reconcile, perhaps by taking up another chore. So, if they use foul language for example, they can take out the bins to make up for their behaviour.

3) Offer Incentives Where Possible

To encourage residents to stick to the rules, offer them incentives and rewards. One week without breaking a house rule for example, entitles them to rent a movie. The incentives can of course be tailored to each service user, depending on their needs and wants.

By offering incentives, you’re acting intelligently to pre-empt rule breakage. Instead of having to react with punishments, incentives allow you to keep rules unbroken in the first place.

About Stepping Out: We provide comprehensive semi independent living services throughout North London & Hertfordshire. Our projects are located close to transport links and local amenities, and are staffed up to 24 hours a day offering a high level, structured and supervised group living arrangement.

Do you have any suggestions or strategies for when it comes to introducing and enforcing house rules in semi independent living environments? Let us know in the comments below.

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