A Note From Your Publisher: The one about third kid syndrome ๐Ÿ“

By Christen Reiner, Macaroni KID Lakewood-Littleton & Macaroni KID Denver Editor and Publisher June 3, 2023

Hey Mac Families,

Raise your hand if you have more than two kids.

If you are raising your hand, you know about the third kid syndrome. (I have three kids so I am not 100% positive that this syndrome also applies to 4th, 5th, and 6th kids, but I would venture a guess that it does.)

What is third kid syndrome?

Oh, I have a list.

The third kid will....

  • Teach themselves how to make his/her own breakfast at the age of four. This will often include using the microwave and/or toaster.
  • Master the art of things like getting ready for the day, putting themselves to bed, and brushing teeth (although, I still think this is debatable since they never actually want to brush their teeth).
  • Also, choose when to employ those skills and when to completely avoid doing any of those things.
  • Decide to take a scooter ride at 7am, long before the rest of the family is awake, so no one will know that they are gone.
  • Run away to the top of the neighborhood in the dead of winter, wearing no shoes or jacket, and take a seat on the curb... at which point concerned neighbors will call the police and your 7 year old will be delivered back to your house in the back of a cop car. Oh, and did I mention that you, the parent, which likely be in the shower or otherwise engaged while all of this is going on?
  • Take the leftover lemonade and soda cans from his sister's graduation party to school and sell them for $2-$3 until the assistant principal gets wind of the "business" and shuts it down.
  • Check themselves into all camps and similar programs starting at about age 10, while other 14 year olds are being escorted in by one or both parents.
  • Refuse to have you, the parent, chaperone any class trips, especially the overnight ones. The parent will be slightly hurt by this refusal, as their first two kids preferred to have them there.
  • Announce that they are "not hungry" for dinner because they have already eaten a dinner sized meal that they made for themselves after school, before their parent has even gotten out of the car.
  • Create their own agenda for things like school and chores.
  • Successfully negotiate bedtimes, playdates, sleepovers, snacks, and even punishments with ease.
  • Make you laugh with their sense of humor, which is super sophisticated, thanks to hanging around with older siblings.
  • Impress you with their conversation skills, easily chatting with adults.
  • Take care of you, the parent, when you are sick, unloading groceries, or making dinner, because they are take-charge kind of kids.
  • Drive you crazy while absolutely stealing a really big chunk of your heart.


Tell me about your third kid. Do they have third kid syndrome? 

Peace โ˜ฎ๏ธ, Love โค๏ธ, & Macaroni ๐ŸŒผ,