When you are training for a competition, or are studying for an exam; your effort is directed to the goal. You work as hard as you can.
The pressure is there and you use it; it doesn’t crush you, it inspires.
That is how it was during the Cold War. People were pressured to do their best.
Parents raised their children by particular rules and methods which stipulated how much formula, when to introduce food, when to toilet train, rules which were promulgated to insure the most rapid development.
There were ‘due dates’ for when a child should reach a particular level and be ready for the next step.