Nina Cuellar-Barry

I'm a Human Design Specialist and Parenting Coach who helps moms solve behavior problems and create beautiful relationships with their kids

I've always been fascinated with the mother-child bond. After I had my own children I experienced the deep emotional ties that make the bond so loving - and conflict-ridden.

Returning to school in Early Childhood Special Education gave me lots of tools that I would have found helpful when my children were little. They worked so well with all children! But while they were helpful, they didn't give me all the insight I needed to really forge a loving bond that respected my children and myself, and that would last our lifetimes.

It's only since I discovered and began using Quantum Human Design (TM) in my own life and with my clients that I knew I'd found a framework that has the breadth and depth to address the concerns, questions and worries of every mom. Human Design continues to be a life-changing system for me, and I'm so eager to share it with moms who need support with their sometimes challenging, always wonderful children.

My Journey With Parenting and Human Design

My children are grown now, but when they were little, I tried really hard to be the best mom I could be. I took parenting classes, and I read a mountain of books on child development and discipline. I was determined to do a better job of parenting than my mom had done (as I know she was determined to do when she became a mom).

A lot of the suggestions and techniques I learned ‘worked’ beautifully for my first child when he was ‘misbehaving’ or when we had challenges.

I still had struggled at times, when he wouldn’t ‘cooperate.’ but overall, I felt like I was doing pretty well as a parent.

Then I had my second child, who was very different than my first. MOST of the strategies I was used to using did not ‘work.’

She was a delightful child. But I couldn’t seem to motivate her to behave in the ways I thought were more appropriate than the ones she chose.

And school was another struggle! I was trying so hard to ‘control’ her behavior, but she didn’t want to be controlled.

My First Shift in Thinking

When my children were in elementary and middle school I earned my teaching license in Early Childhood Special Education.

I learned all about supports and strategies that were tailored to children who learned differently. Not all kids learn with the teacher at the front of the room giving directions to the whole group!

In my classroom and in community preschools where I consulted, I saw how well these functional and different tools helped all children learn skills and routines.

I was able to modify these tools for older children (like mine), and discovered that it was easier to communicate and teach my children when I used different strategies!

Great! Not everyone learns in the same way, so they may need different strategies to learn the same skills.

But there was still something missing.

Though my children were thriving, I still struggled with my relationship with them. We had so much conflict over things that didn’t even seem important!

I couldn’t understand why my daughter’s moods were such a strong influence on her.

Couldn’t she be more reasonable and put aside her feelings once in a while?

And my son was so loud and seemed mad when he couldn’t beat a level in his video game, or when anything was giving him trouble, His loud frustration made me feel anxious. I just wanted him to stop!

Why couldn’t he just calm down and take his time?

I loved them both with my whole heart, but I still felt that, in a lot of ways, I was failing as a mom – why wasn’t I able to reason with them?

As a teacher I helped a lot of parents of young children with their

  • behavior problems (hitting, biting, yelling)
  • age appropriate skills
  • learning to focus on what’s important (ADHD)
  • learning in different ways (neurodiversity)

These parents told me all the time that their children were doing so much better. But I could see – and they would tell me – that they still struggled to understand why their children did the things they did, and how they could motivate them to do better.

I felt inadequate when I could only say that they were young and things would get better.

That didn’t feel very helpful.

Human Design - The Missing Element

When I was still teaching I began to search for the missing piece that would help me understand the children I worked with – and my own children.

I studied the Enneagram, Energy Types (TM), Myers-Briggs. All were interesting, but either they were suited for adults, or they were difficult to apply. None were what I was looking for.

After I retired from teaching, I discovered Human Design.

The more I learned about it, the more convinced I became that it would help me understand my children’s personalities, motivations, and innate challenges and strengths. In fact, it helped me understand everyone better. Including myself.

The unique features of a person’s Human Design help explain who they are – and who they can become.

Your Human Design doesn’t define you. It helps you understand yourself, and what you’re here to do.

It helps you understand other people – including your children – in a kind, respectful, non-judgmental way.

Human Design is based on a combination of astrology, the Chinese I’Ching, the Hindu Chakra system, Jewish Kabbalah, and quantum physics. Your chart is generated from the time and place of your birth, and it doesn’t change over time.

As I studied others through their Human Design,

I learned that having Emotional Authority means that you’ll experience and perceive everything through an emotional lens.

Emotions arrive in waves, up and down, and can feel and look like a rollercoaster. No wonder my daughter’s view of the world seemed to fluctuate from day to day.

and I learned that frustration is a hallmark for Generators

It can sometimes look like anger, but it’s part of the Generator learning process. So it was perfectly natural for my son to get loudly frustrated when he was working on a skill – it was part of his learning process, and not something I had to change.

I stopped taking it personally when my son yelled in frustration, and when my daughter got upset over occurrences that didn’t seem important to me.

I understood that when my son gets loudly frustrated, he is likely on the brink of making a leap in his skills. And when my daughter reacted in an emotional way to, well everything, it was okay, too.

Human Design gave me the freedom to accept others (including children) for who they are. It gave me the freedom to accept myself and everyone I love for the beings we uniquely are.

Human Design was the piece of the puzzle of human personality that I’d been missing.

Sometimes I want to cry thinking back to my parenting choices and how different it could have been if I’d had an understanding of Human Design.

It hurts my heart to think about the many times I tried to change who my children were because I thought they needed to be fixed – and if I didn’t ‘fix’ them I was a bad mom.

There were so many times I scolded, punished, or shamed my children in my attempt to ‘make’ them be better. It made me feel worse as a mom, and more isolated – because I couldn’t admit to anyone how clueless I sometimes felt.

Being a mom would have been so much easier if I’d understood my children’s Type, Strategy and Authority – the most foundational parts of Human Design.

But I do understand now, and it’s different now. I’m able to connect with my adult children better and I understand them in a different, more compassionate way.

Human Design is the missing element in understanding children and guiding them in becoming the people they’re meant to be.

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