After World War II the Scientific Method of raising children was implemented. The ‘Breast’ was not ‘Best’. Only the poorest people in the world Breast Fed. Others used the ‘Formula’.
The reality can not be ignored. Many women had nutriential deficiencies. A woman could not give what she didn’t have. Hence, the formula, with all the necessary nutrients insured that children were healthy.
Toilet Training began very early.
This did not just cut down on laundry, but was the first lesson in control of self. A child became conscious that they could control their bodies. This first lesson in self control was vital. Further a child learned hygiene.
Weaning began early, and it was not unusual for one year olds to be toilet trained and eating from the family pot.
Childhood lasted until five years old in many cases. At five, the children left the stay at home mommy and went to Kindergarten. This was often their first time away from home, their first exposure to the group.
They had five years of freedom. Five years of unscheduled days, of learning what they liked and what they didn’t, of learning themselves as individuals. They were not part of a group. They were special.
As the Cold War was on, the West and East competed for the most brilliant next generation.
With war constantly waved as a possibility and the need to ensure the brightest possible population streaming began in First Grade. There was the Bright Class, the 2nd Brightest, the Average, and the Dunce.
No one cared if the child in the Dunce class felt inferior. He was. And no one was going to bring a class to a dead stop to ensure that Johnny could read, because it was more important to see that Timmy was pushed as far as he could go.
Testing was constant, and curriculums were constantly upgraded to make sure that the other side wasn’t turning out more advanced students.
Schools for gifted children sprang up everywhere, and kids who had the ability were streamed into those schools. The dunce were sent to trade schools.
Hence, by the age of 12 the child in even an average class was doing work that had previously been done by those two or three years older.