In the past, education and wealth may have served as buffers against distress. However, that is no longer the case. There has been a fundamental transformation. The evidence indicates that children from privileged backgrounds are extremely vulnerable today than in previous generations.
The main reason is pressure for exceptional achievement. The children from privileged backgrounds are expected to perform exceedingly well at school and in various extracurricular, and also in their social lives.
It is true that the pressure to do well academically is common to all children. However, maintaining the standard of success is a specific imperative for the children from privileged backgrounds, for whom expectations are particularly high.
The key factor is, the achievement of high goals is often within reach for children from privileged backgrounds. These children believe monetary success is the path to ultimate happiness, for which they have to attend a prestigious college. Hence, they are preoccupied with improving their brand value. There is insufficient time for exploring their personal core values or for nurturing specific interests.
Parents from privileged backgrounds place excessive emphasis on children's accomplishments. They have high expectations for their child’s success owing to their own rich educational experiences and success in their professional careers. Parents often get obsessed with results. Children seek acknowledgment from their parents. When they underperform, they display heightened symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A key fact established by psychology is that people assess themselves by comparing themselves with others. This can also lead to stress. Children from privileged backgrounds find it difficult to nurture the social connectedness of friendship. The strength of friendship is threatened by competition.
Society has to be concerned about the problems of affluent children. Children are tomorrow’s leaders. Any child who is depressed requires adult intervention.
Identifying and correcting behavioural disorders is not easy. It would need changes at various levels, from school systems to individual families. Parents must play a vital role in mitigating pressures on children. Again, a teacher would play a key role in bringing about the transformation. Hence, adequate training of teachers is critical.
Society must emphasize a value system based on decency and kindness as much as performance.