Like you, as a parent, I often find myself counting; three, two one... The counting usually comes immediately after saying something like, “Turn off the iPad” or “Put your shoes on”. What is it about this long-standing parenting technique that is so motivating to children? What is it about counting?

Right now we are in the middle of the Jewish season of counting known as Sefirat Ha-Omer. Beginning on the second night of Passover the Omer is when we count the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. The purpose of the Omer has changed throughout Jewish history, but the counting has always remained. In the Torah, our agricultural ancestors counted their daily offering of an omer’s worth of the new barley crop. Read more