To prepare children for the future, American parents raise their children to be independent, responsible and competitive. From infancy children in America learn to separate from their parents and act brave even when they are afraid. American children soon learn that they should behave like "big boys" and "big girls" not "babies".
Americans also grow up learning that those who are "the best" will get better jobs, make more money, have bigger houses and will be able to buy more and better consumer goods. American children learn to be competitive with others because only a few will become the best. In sports and in school, Americans want to win, to get the highest grades and the best test scores, to take home the big trophy and get into the best schools. Both boys and girls want to be on the winning team or to be the fastest runner. If a child is not talented in a sport, he or she will probably stop playing it, as it is no fun if he or she can’t win.
In school, students want to get the top grade in each subject. Therefore, students will argue with teachers about two points on a test, because getting two more points makes a difference. Students take the national placement test for college, the SAT, in the 11th form. Once they learn their first score, they take courses and pay tutors to raise their scores, so their test score the next year will be better.
When you ask an American student if he or she would rather get the best grade in the class or help his or her friend to get a better grade. He or she will tell you that they want to get the best grade. If his or her friend wants a better grade, he/she will say, let him or her work harder.
competitive — конкурирующий, конкурентоспособный
from infancy — с детства, сызмальства
to take home the big trophy — принести домой большой трофей
the top grade — самый высокий балл или оценка
to make a difference — иметь значение; составлять разницу
to take courses — посещать занятия; заниматься
a tutor — репетитор, преподаватель
to work harder — работать усерднее