Thomas and the cult of obedience

This one got a lot of feedback from parents and grandparents: Ruminations on the pull of Thomas the Tank Engine, and why I hope his obedience doesn’t rub off too much on the little guy.

Read the whole thing from the Boston Globe here.

THIS ONE goes out to the parents, grandparents, and friends of toddler boys. Tell me if this sounds familiar: Preschooler walks around in a happy daze, ignoring the world around him, mumbling catchphrases about cheeky trains on the Island of Sodor.

Yes, it’s the mind-grip of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, as documented in a study from last year’s Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. A fellow Thomas inductee recently showed me the story: A 3-year-old in California watched Thomas episodes on TV for five hours a day, and descended so deep in his train reverie that he wouldn’t talk to anyone at preschool.