Below are some of the biggest GAPS I am continuing to see in my clinical practice, trainings, talks, and in my own life

Written by Carron Montgomery

A lack of awareness about the significance and power of the internet, how it has changed, and how it affects children and adolescents. This gap in knowledge stretches across generations, whether it’s the children at risk or their parents who haven’t fully-grasped the problem. Not only does this impact children and their families’ mental health, but also that of their communities and the process of parenting in general.

Feeling immense pressure as a parent. We can often feel torn over letting your children and teens make mistakes: on one hand, there is a GAP in their social/emotional development, but there’s also a case for making age appropriate mistakes online. Parents rightfully fear one mistake will be recorded, but in doing so, we unknowingly prevent opportunities to make age-appropriate mistakes that will help shape our children into becoming successful adults. In addition, we often transmit our anxiety onto our children with little to no awareness.

A GAP in current laws for mistakes made on social media that don’t take into account the ‘Wild West’ nature of these platforms for youth, along with laws that fail to consider appropriate consequences. Too often, they fail to take into account the fact that children and adolescents are not prepared by society for social media usage, and they are not developmentally equipped to navigate and fully grasp the impact that many of their actions can potentially have on their own life and that of their families. Many of the authorities enforcing these rules have not been properly educated on realistic social/emotional expectations and brain development. This GAP in education is terrifying as it can inadvertently lead to dangerous mental health issues, severe long term consequences, and an increase in suicide and self-harming behavior. Kids and teens are meant to make mistakes, and the pressure to be perfect always in a public world can be both terrifying and paralyzing.

Many people are eager to move beyond the pandemic and go back to ‘normal.’ While this would be nice in some ways, the reality is that the world is changing at one of the most rapid paces in history — and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Accepting that we need to create a ‘new normal’ not only validates the pressure and confusion our youth have been facing, but it also allows opportunities for more helpful and productive conversations with adults. These conversations can allow this younger generation to be heard, and can open opportunities for adults to learn about how much being able to achieve developmental needs has changed and the stress of constantly comparing your life to people and things that aren’t even real. Information is power and it’s needed in order to understand the impact of a rapidly changing world — one that began evolving years before the pandemic — and the impact it continues to have on young people’s overall happiness and the development of skills they need in order to grow and become successful adults. It’s hard to fix what we don’t know, and it’s only easy when we know how. Dave Pell really lays this out in his book, Please Scream Inside Your Heart: Breaking News and Nervous Breakdowns in the Year that Wouldn’t End

There are many community solutions to this problem, such as: Creating a common and non-intimidating language for talking about mental health and equipping adults with self-regulating skills. The good news is that even though we think of adults as “fully grown,” our brains never stop changing and we can always catch up. As a community, we need to not only educate teachers, coaches, mentors, grandparents, but also parents on how to best reach young adults, teens, tweens, and younger children. You may be surprised that you actually learn from them as much as they learn from you. Our generation was not taught about the amazing purpose that feelings can serve and how they can help us get our needs met. By connecting with he younger generations, there’s a valuable opportunity to learn the value of emotional intelligence and see first hand how it helps foster overall wellness.

Another reliable solution is ready. There are countless books that bring back lost wisdom and promote conversations: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Finding Muchness, The Candy Dish, Big Panda and Tiny Dragon, and Noticing are all amazing places to start. Even just a page a day can help bring this wisdom back in a non-intimidating way for teachers, parents, and kids to connect. The book Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World by Yuval Noah Havari is a perfect family book to read, highlighting that superpowers are our ability to cooperate in large groups and believe in shared stories. When we believe in the same story, we all believe in the same purpose, and we are more powerful when we are connected, working towards a shared goal. This community and connection allows us to tell stories and share this wisdom from one generation to the next generation. The book Find Your People : Building Community in a Lonely World and Find Your People by Jennie Allen is also amazing and reiterates many points from this post
What Happened to You by Bruce Perry, M.D and Oprah Winfrey; Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson PH.D with Richard Mendius, MD, and FACTFULNESS: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rowling and Anna Ronnlund.

Compassion and a community approach are vital components to fostering overall wellness, as we continue to navigate unchartered territory, political unrest, and a massive mental health crisis. When we come together, we are more powerful and effective. Is faster really better? Is being the fastest really living? These points are explored further in The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer.

Some of my Favorite Products

Mindsight Breathing Buddha, weighted blankets, eye masks, scents, The Untethered Soul Journal by Micheal Singer, sound machines, TouchPoints for anxiety, vagus nerve oil, light therapy lamp, air purifiers, weighted blankets, and a REAL alarm clock!!!

One of the easiest changes you can make to improve your sleep is to purchase a good old fashioned alarm clock. I would guess most of us use our phones as our clocks and they are next to our bed, under our pillow or somewhere close. If you wake in the middle of the night to check the time, you look at your phone. The phone itself emits light that wakes you up, and if you have texts you WILL read them, waking up your brain even more in the process.

Some more helpful tools include The Invisible Riptide products found at, calm strips, worry stones, meditation apps, making time for self-care, infrared saunas, family time, being outdoors, moon pods, epsom salts, probiotics (help restore a healthy gut that is a powerhouse for producing serotonin), and supplements: healthy boundaries supplement, endocrine support supplement, and Taochemy Free Agent 55 to support healthy immune functioning.

For information on acupuncture designed to reset the nervous system and to purchase these supplements visit: and the following for additional products:

Art!!! Find therapeutic art projects at

Again, reading is extremely beneficial to increasing emotional awareness and your ability to connect with others. Andrew Newman’s entire collection is wonderful, but specifically: The Little Brain People, The Hug Who Got Stuck, We Are Circle People, The Untethered Soul Guided Journal, book and card deck by Micheal Singer, and The Invisible Riptide by Carron Montgomery.

“We often worry ahead and far into the future. Ironically, what we are usually worrying about changes before we even get there.” Carron

Additional Resources I Love

The Just Like You: Anxiety + Depression Project on Amazon Prime

TikTok Documentary on Netflix

Music: Chris Doolittle Better Together and Best Day Yet found on Spotify.

Podcast on Suicide Prevention That is a Must for All:

Raising Good Humans: Ep 95: Suicide Prevention with Dr. Kelly Posner and Founder—Director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project. An urgent episode empowering all parents, caregivers and practitioners

Additional Reading

IGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood by Jean Twenge.

From Surviving to Vibing: Filling In The Gaps, by Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT and Caroline Danda, Phd.