I thought that the panic of being able to perform at a certain level did not set in until one got established in the working world with things such as mortgages and credit card bills coming in the mail. However, the pressure to perform academically in this generation is actually phenomenal. Kids are under extreme stress to get a certain score in testing and to get a certain grade-point average. If they don’t, they feel like they are failing. Singapore physics tutors are being hired by parents to give their kids an edge or leg up in testing. When I was in school, there was no talk about academic resumes. I was happy to get an above-average score in any subject. My parents were okay with me just doing well. Now, kids feel they have to perform at the top of their game in every subject from math to science.
We have a working relationship with tutors in math and the sciences for our children to get them excelling in any subject they feel they are not strong in. Our son expects a certain grade or test score and does everything he can to achieve them. He genuinely feels that he failed if he does not meet or exceed his expected results academically. I am proud and happy for him to just succeed in anything he puts his mind to. I do not expect him to be valedictorian or to ace every subject, but he does expect that. It is the exact same mindset our daughter has. I do not agree with the system or the peer and other social pressures for academic performance that is expected from kids nowadays, but it is there. I cannot change that for them, but my wife and I can help them get the best tutors to perform at the level our kids and their peers and superiors now expect.