11 Ways Teenagers Tell Time

by Mia Geiger
Originally Published: 

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? The band Chicago asked this in their hit song decades ago. But there is one group who definitely does care what time it is—we moms! We need to know what time to pick up our kids, when everyone will be home for dinner, and when the sports permission slips are due. These are timetables we live by.

Teens, though, have their own way of measuring time. First off, teens today do not even own a watch, unless it’s a watch that’s really a wearable computer. Looking at a clock with numbers and minute and second hands seems foreign to them; fortunately for them, the DVR displays the time digitally, as does their cell phone. Still, even with their electronic devices to guide them in getting things done in a timely manner, they adhere to their own ideas of time. And it’s not pretty.

1. Request: Please clean your room.

Your teen says: Soon.

True timetable: When your teen can no longer open the door without falling into a pile of clothes.

2. Request: Please start studying for that big test.

Your teen says: Okay.

True timetable: Next week, the day of the test, while on the bus to school.

3. Request: Please look up from your cell phone.

Your teen says: In a minute.

True timetable: Five hours from now.

4. Request: Please take the dog out.

Your teen says: Fine.

True timetable: After the dog poops in the living room.

5. Request: Please send thank-yous for the birthday gifts.

Your teen says: Later.

True timetable: Just before your teen’s next birthday.

6. Request: Please close the window, the air conditioner’s on!

Your teen says: Yep.

True timetable: Next winter.

7. Request: Please participate in family game night.

Your teen says: Mmmhmm.

True timetable: When all of your teen’s friends are out of town.

8. Request: Please stop playing that video game.

Your teen says: Yeah.

True timetable: When you unplug the television.

9. Request: Please come out of your room.

Your teen says: Nothing, he can’t hear you with his earbuds in.

True timetable: Three hours later, for dinner.

10. Request: Please put your dishes in the dishwasher.

Your teen says: Sure.

True timetable: Never.

And the biggest challenge of all:
11. Request: Please give me a hug before you head out.

Your teen says: Ewww!

True timetable: When you grab your unsuspecting teen as he’s walking by and put your arms around him. For a second, time really does stand sweetly still.

This article was originally published on