I recently listened to a parent describe one particular frustration with a teen. When it came time to get ready to go somewhere, the parent would tell the kid that they needed to leave in ten minutes...and before then, would the teen take out the trash, put the dog out, and get the laundry out of the dryer. Five minutes later, the teen was still sitting around playing video games. The parent was fit to be tied.
Teen brains are still growing. Frontal lobes don't always do what they should, which means that things like planning, remembering lists, and concepts of time don't fire on all cylinders. Giving a young teen a verbal to do list and a time limit is a recipe for disaster. (Meanwhile, other parts of the brain haven't developed enough to interpret the emotions shown on others' faces...so the kids can't even see that you're pissed off.)
In the classroom, when I have a "to do" list for kids, I keep it short, always visible, and try to smile in spite of gritted teeth every time I'm asked "What do I do next?"
The list for Wednesday is very short. There is only one item and it's easy to do because I'll include the link: go to the Carnival of Education. It is hosted this week by History Is Elementary and is the finest collection of posts to be found in the edusphere. Enjoy! (Okay, it's a two-item list.)