About Tracy

Tracy Cassels is the primary writer for Evolutionary Parenting. She obtained her B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Developmental Psychology, also at the University of British Columbia, where she is studying how certain evolutionary factors affect children’s empathic behaviour. Tracy serves as an Adviser to the Children’s Health & Human Rights Partnership and previously worked at the Canadian Council on Learning, a non-profit agency dedicated to researching myriad elements of learning across the lifespan. Most importantly to her, though, she is a mother to daughter Madeleine (Maddy), stepson Desmond, and wife to husband Brian.

No, My Child Doesn’t Believe in Santa

'Santa's Portrait' byThomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly, 1881 The holidays are rolling around and if you live in a Christian-centric culture, chances are you are facing the onslaught of Santa (even though

The Sleep-Needs Connection: Let’s Not Throw Parents Under the Bus Please

A new "gentle" approach to sleep suggests that if parents meet all their child's needs, sleep will follow. However, I disagree and believe this type of approach can actually harm families. Here's why.

Mythbusting Sleep Training Claims, Science-Style

With all the statements being made by so many about sleep training, most to get parents to get on board, parents should know that most of these statements are myths, not backed by science.

Why Punishment Doesn’t Work

Lots of people still maintain that punishment is necessary is raising children. Here is why it isn't.

Why Listening to Other Parents On Your Child’s Sleep is Often A Complete Waste of Your Time

Sick of having other people tell you what you should be doing with respect to your child and their sleep? Here are some scientifically-backed reasons why you can safely ignore them.

Dispelling Common Circumcision Myths

There's lots of misinformation out there when it comes to male circumcision and we owe it to our boys to dispel these myths and work for change.

Evolutionary Mismatch: Is This the Missing Piece to So Many Modern Parenting Problems?

Could the root of many of our parenting woes lie in the evolutionary mismatch theory? New research looking at one example makes a strong case for this.

Fussy Babies and Later Mental Health Problems: A Discussion

New research suggests that extremely unsettled babies have a much higher risk of mental health problems in childhood. The question is now what we do with this, and I have a few ideas.

Culture and Discipline: Is Harsh Discipline Ever Okay?

Is harsh discipline always bad for kids? If not, how can we reconcile a desire to end such practices with research that may suggest they have a role?

What Does It Mean To Be “In Control”?

When we think about being in control, we often think about having children that obey and listen to us no matter what. That would be wrong. Instead it start and ends with our own responses, not our kids.