There is debate on whether or not parents should use the “children starving in Africa” ultimatum to get their kids to clean their plate or be more grateful.
It’s an old strategy. When my mother was growing up in the 40’s & 50’s, my great-grandmother would find occasion to remind her about the starving Armenians.
I agree that we shouldn’t use someone’s suffering as a means to manipulate our children. However, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that if we do not educate our sons and daughters on how other children live, they will develop and come of age with an eschewed perspective of the world.
We are the top 1% of the world. Our lifestyle isn’t reflected by the majority. We are the fringe. And I think our children need to understand this as they pass through their milestones; even if it is only at a high level to begin with.
Children definitely learn best with a hands-on practical example. This “trash” soccer ball is an excellent tool that we can gift our children with.
Each soccer ball is made from garbage bags by women in Kenya. They use this income to put food on the table for their children.
It’s an interesting cycle of events. We, as mothers in North America, can purchase a fair trade soccer ball from another mother in Kenya. We buy it because we’re trying to keep our kids from becoming entitled. She makes them because she’s trying to keep her kids from starving.
If you are serious about training your kids to be grateful adults, I highly recommend these books by Kristen Welch:
And I highly recommend buying the “trash” soccer ball for the young children in your life as a gentle and relatable way of introducing this topic to them (if it is a new concept). Mercy House Global Marketplace also has a collection of children’s items you can choose from as well.
Link: “Shop Fair Trade”