While your teen might want to veg out in front of the TV all day, most adolescents have a much more involved schedule. Between school, homework, hanging out with friends, work and other obligations, the average teen spends her day keeping busy and moving from one activity to the next.
According to the Center for Public Education, the average American student spends between 900 and 1,000 hours of time in instructional school activities each year. That means that the average teen spends the better part of his day -- during the roughly 175 to 180 days of the school year -- in classes, learning, taking tests, exploring the arts and engaging in physical education. If you are trying to calculate the exact amount of time that your teen spends in school, keep in mind that each state regulates the precise number of instructional hours. This means that a child who lives in Ohio may go to more or less school than one in Florida or California.
As your teen becomes more independent, chances are that she will want to spend less time with you -- and the rest of the family -- and more time with her friends. The average teenager typically spends much of his time during the day with his friends. While his peers are present at school, the class environment doesn't necessarily provide much time for socialization, with the exception of in-between periods and lunch. Your teen may want to hang out with his friends after school or on weekends. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, on their Healthy Children website, the beginning of the teen years often means that kids want to stay out later with their friends. Instead of coming home while it's still light out, your teen may want to spend as much of his day as possible with his peers at their homes, at the mall or out on the town.
The pediatric pros at the KidsHealth website note that teens in middle and high school typically have a greater amount of homework in comparison to their younger peers. The specific amount of time that the average teen spends during the day on homework will vary depending on the classes that he is taking, his grade level and his motivation to succeed. While almost all teens must do at least some homework during the week days in order to pass their classes, teens who take honors or advanced placement classes will have more responsibilities than students enrolled in traditional classes. Additionally, during special times of the school year, such as during mid-terms or finals week, your teen may need to turn up the time that he spends studying.
From babysitting to serving up hamburgers at the local fast-food restaurant, many teens spend at least part of their day at work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, 23.5 million young adults held jobs. The specific amount of time that your teen spends at work depends on her age and is regulated by the U.S. government. The Department of Labor's YouthRules! website notes that teens who are 14 or 15 can work at most three hours on school days and eight hours when they don't have school. Teens 16 and older can work an unlimited amount of hours as long as the employer compensates them for the hours.
- The Center for Public Education: Time in School: How Does the U.S. Compare?
- HealthyChildren.org: Staying Out Late and Curfews
- KidsHealth: Helping Your Teen With Homework
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment and Unemeployment Among Youth- Summer 2012
- YouthRules!: I Am 14 or 15
- YouthRules!: I am 16 or 17
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images