A Bit About Myself
I am in my late 20's, and I am a fairly-new-mom. I have been married to my daughter's father for about a year now, but I have been around kids my entire life. I have always had many children in my family, I'm a godparent and I'm involved in the lives of all my friends' kids. I began working with young-children when I was in my early teens (babysitting, tutoring, etc.) and still do so to this day; in fact, I've always been described as having a type of "Snow White-effect" - in reference to the mutual love I share with all children (and animals). However, I am just now realizing that all of the above means SQUAT when it comes to being a parent/mother! :-/
A little family history
My daughter's birth-mother had began using drugs approx. a year after she gave birth; which caused her and my husband to split. They were never married so there was only a custody battle, in which he won, and shortly after she left the state. Then, around the beginning of last year, she returned pregnant and sober. My husband had been allowing our daughter to remain in the lives of her mother's family, and because of how much they were helping while he was at work, he continued to do so knowing this now meant she would be in the picture. Unfortunately, soon after she gave birth to her second child, she sadly began using drugs again; so this time WE left the state!
The present issue(s)
It was only this past July that we moved, and so this has been a very big transition for my daughter; in addition to being in a new environment, home, just starting school/kindergarten and being away from the only people she knows, now she is missing her birth-mother! :(
The only time I work is some weekdays, after I drop my daughter at school and until I pick her up; so, minus that time my daughter and I spend almost all of our time together, and I feel as though I'm practically a stay-at-home-mother; since she doesn't go to aftercare. I felt this would be the most ideal situation so that I could work closely with her on school and implementing new structure, and an overall new lifestyle for my whole family.
However, just lately my daughter has become very defiant, distracted, and troubled! This is at both home and now school too, where she just doesn't seem to care about anything but other kids and doing every thing she knows she's not supposed to! I have read, researched and studied everything on everything [discipline, keys to successful and happy children, etc.] NO MATTER WHAT I try to do differently not the slightest bit of anything changes!
She talks about her mom as if they did everything together, and we know that they did not. Then admitted to me that she makes up a lot of things or refers them to her mother (such as "oh, I have that at my moms" or "my mom told me that"), but she still does it. She has even destroyed property (things that cannot be fixed - like walls - while using things that she knows very well cause irreversible damage) and then admitted to her grandmother that she did it because she misses her mom!
Obviously we knew this would be a tough adjustment for her and she could probably benefit greatly from counseling, but I still can't help thinking and feeling like there's something I'M doing wrong or that she's missing and we can't provide! Like, I can implement all of the best things that the best books and research could possibly teach, tons of love, in addition to all that I've already known from my history with children her age (plus the fact that I am a woman), but still nothing will help!
Is it the "child-mother" factor that she's missing that's causing all of her behavioral issues? Am I not giving her the same kind of love/feeling/enough love? Will this pass without causing her long-term irreversible-damage? I feel so helpless and so much pain for her!