In comparison to Europe, American culture seems to bear a lot more grudges against only children and their parents. Nobody stops twice asking Do you plan to have another one? question and explaining to you how bad it is for the child to grow up without a sibling. Some time ago I stumbled upon The Only Child: Debunking the Myths article on time.com. It explains fairly well how the whole idea of only children as lonely, selfish and maladjusted individuals came about. What amused me was another epithet that was added to the standard list – single children tend to be overly intellectual. Apparently, it’s as bad for anyone to be “overly intellectual” in America as it was in the former Soviet Union. But I digress. One thing is clear and highlighted in the article – “studies showed that singletons aren't measurably different from other kids — except that they, along with firstborns and people who have only one sibling, score higher in measures of intelligence and achievement.” Why? The article and experience (both as a single child and a mother of one) tell me it’s because the expectations are higher. Single children are given undivided attention, but as Luke put it, “Much will be required from everyone to whom much has been given”. I do have high expectations of my daughter – not necessarily in the form of tangible achievement, but in how I expect her to behave and how I expect her to interact with people around her. I want her to be confident but respectful, I want her to believe in her abilities and I want her to believe in benevolent and plentiful Universe. The danger that I see is not in whether she will be selfish and maladjusted, but whether she ends up feeling pressured. Luckily, so far she has been pretty successful in pushing back when she feels pressure – a true daughter of her father. I hope to continue to balance love and expectations as we go through an adventure of raising an only child in the culture that is so different in many ways from our own.