School in Turkey is completely different to school in Australia. In Australia school starts at the most civilised hour of 9 am and finishes at the very acceptable hour of 3 pm. This allows you (and your brood) a decent sleep and leaving enough time for afternoon activities. Here in Turkey Daughter starts school at the most uncivilised hour of 7 am and finishes at the completely unacceptable 12 noon. This means I am dealing with a complete grump in the morning and, as for me, I can never get everything done in the few hours allocated as child free time.
There are advantages to a Turkish education in Daughter’s mind. Yes she loves the fact that she is at school for one hour less here in Turkey. She now has a butt load of free time in the afternoon to run amok with her friends. Another bonus in Daughter’s mind is the fact that each lesson seems to run for approximately 20 minutes with a 10 minute break for toilet or canteen visits (although the toilets are squat toilets and never seem to have any toilet paper which is more horrific to an 11 year old than anything she has gone through so far).
Returning to my point – Daughter has to get up at 5.40 am. This ridiculously early start is required to give her enough time to get ready, whinge, drink a coffee(!), whinge, eat breakfast and whinge some more before her servis comes to collect her at 6.35 am. The reality is that she whinges – a lot – in the morning.
I have tried lots of different tactics to make the morning starts a little easier on everyone.
Get her to bed early. This is usually difficult as Turkey seems to be a country of night time frivolities. Lots of visitors, loads of food, occasional dancing and music and Daughter being Daughter will not miss out on a party, even if she is the only one at the party.
Blackmail (also called Negotiation)
You’ve all done it – don’t lie.
I gave the responsibility to Daughter. Brought her an alarm clock. Set it and did not get out of bed to help her get ready for school. This option failed dismally as she missed her servis three days in a row and in fact missed school twice!
I put it to you – how do you get your child up for school when it is pitch black outside. How do you motivate them enough to get ready for school when they hate you or hate life or hate the world. And finally, how do you get your child to stop hating you or hating life or hating the world!