Returning the “Found” Items

By: Melissa, mom of three

5.0 2 reviews

As my child started school, he also started bringing home more and more “stuff”. It began as pencils, broken erasers, broken parts of toys, and broken toy cars, but one day he came home with a gold watch! The teacher and I had a meeting, and she was mad that he was a thief and all but accused me of being a bad parent. I knew that he noticed little things and often would find stuff in the sandbox at the playground; sometimes, it is change and even money. One day he found $20 in the gutter. So knowing this special skill of finding stuff, we strategized, what if it is not stealing, but rather finding? And what happens if we change the narrative? He returned to school with a clear backpack and, at the end of the first day, was asked to return his “found” things to the teacher or ask if he knew who they came from. He happily emptied his pockets in the found-things box. The kids could come up and claim their “found” stuff. They thanked him for finding their stuff, and the whole dynamic changed. Other kids also started to empty their pockets too as they also found things. He started returning things as soon as he found them, and eventually, the clear backpack and the end-of-the-day pocket emptying were no longer needed. He became proud of finding and returning things.