To cease to educate the population was done in steps. The first was to virtually abandon toilet training.
Although it sounds discordant, teaching a child that s/he has control of their body is the most important lesson.
When the child can recognise the need to use the potty, can exercise control over his or her body to reach the potty and then, at that child’s decree, empty his or her bowels, the power is the first they will know.
Dr.Spock’s book published in 1946 became the Parent’s ‘Bible’.
Parents adopted the ideas so that the majority was fed at certain times, and toilet trained at certain ages, and allowed to explore, etc.
The children who were raised according to The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care grew up with a kind of self discipline.
This is important. It teaches the Child that s/he has power over his or her body, over his or her desires, and is groomed so as to be capable of judgment.
The four year old, playing outside with his or her parents a distance away, feels ‘independent’.
To develop a sense of self as an independent and capable person is the purpose of child rearing, not to maintain infancy for as long as possible.