I taught both of my daughters counted cross stitch by first starting them off on stitching simple motifs. They are fun, colorful and are something you can finish very quickly. The motifs were featured in a wonderful cross stitch magazine named Cross Stitch & Needlework that went out of business, but I have saved all of the issues as they have proven to be invaluable to me.
You can find similar simple cross stitch patterns for FREE at the following places online: The first is called The Spruce at https://www.thespruce.com/simple-cross-stitch-for-beginners-4122024 which provides FREE patterns for beginners. Another site which provides FREE patterns in full color as well as helpful tips to help you along the way is called Tiny Modernist Cross Stitch Patterns at https://tinymodernist.wordpress.com/free-downloads/.
Their patterns are simply adorable and can be worked up quickly! Once you've mastered these, and have completed several motifs and gained confidence, feel free to try one of our easy Level 1 patterns listed here at Sunrays Creations Needlearts. The patterns on the Level 1 category of difficulty are simple patterns that are interesting, fun to work and easy to follow.