Saturday, 3 March 2012

Thomas the Tank Engine Obsession

JJ and SamSam LOVE trainsets.

We have an IKEA railway set and eight trains from the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

However, I've been increasingly troubled that they are almost obsessed with Thomas and his friends. The first thing SamSam looks for when he wakes up are his Thomas and Gordon toys. The books they want me to read are Thomas books. The program they want to watch on DVD/TV is Thomas!

Even this evening, SamSam was even looking at grapes in his bowl and giving them names "This is Thomas, and this is Salty".

I have some objections about a lot of Thomas the Tanks Engine stories - books and TV episodes and movies included. While they all have some sort of 'moral' where a train will learn why they should or shouldn't act a certain way, most of the conversations between trains are not nice. They're actually quite mean. And young kids just don't understand that it's not good to be that way. Instead they look up to all the trains as role models, and pick up everything they say and do.

In particular I really dislike the 'Day of the Diesels' movie, it has some nasty themes. I purposely lost the DVD!

This week I also had to also hide a book about 'Stepney'. In it, children learn about being afraid of the dark (my boys are not afraid of the dark and I want to keep it that way!), and being scared of spooky things.

To try and undo their 'Thomas obsession'. I thought I could do a sort of un-rotation, and leave the trainset out in their room so they could play with it anytime they want.

It didn't work.

Instead all week, they preferred to play in the room with their trains. It was hard to get them interested in doing other things. And I've just remembered that last week I let them watch Thomas on the TV every day... no wonder they are obsessed with it, I've been feeding it! :( :(

This week when I did some simple writing and craft activities I noticed that even their concentration has been diminished. This is serious stuff! They usually have incredible concentration powers.

In the end, un-rotation didn't work.

I've put away the trainset again. I think it will see even less daylight than normal.

I now have a strict policy of reading only one 'Thomas book' a day, and I've banned Thomas on the DVD/TV until further notice.

It's time to nip this Thomas obsession in the bud! 

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