Legitimate peripheral participation

by Lilia Efimova on 8 November 2011

We happen to have a kid who is very (VERY-VERY) interested in what I’d call “legitimate peripheral participation” in the life of adults.

Like in a local clothes repair shop – he would stand mesmerised, observing what the guys who work there do, ask questions and (if possible) help with something. Or like the last week in a MuZEEum in Scheveningen – helping stuff members with cleaning museum yard from from the fallen leaves and putting the chairs right on the terrace. Or a few weeks ago, when he was up and dressed early in the morning to help our neighbour to finish sorting job in the garage that they started a day before.

We involve him in almost everything we do in the house and we take them along to events and activities that most of the kids don’t go to. When I see an opportunity where he can observe “how things get done” or, even better, help with some of it I ask around and try to arrange for something.

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