The COMPLETE Model for Positive Behavior Management

Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views 

August 2016


“The COMPLETE Model for Positive Behavior Management” by Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib offers simple, yet powerful advice on how to manage behavior in a positive way. This book is jam-packed with ideas, examples, and tips that can immediately be taken directly to the classroom or home.

Ms. Al-Hidiq Zebib has provided not only educators and parents with a how-to manual for raising and teaching children through positive behavior management, but her ideas and techniques are useful to all people. As a former educator, this book would have been extremely helpful to me in classroom management. I think back on my time in the classroom, and wish I had this book available to me as a resource. I also believe that all human beings can benefit from the ideas shared in this book. Just the tips on active listening alone could help countless relationships that struggle with communication. The tool on values is useful for anyone wanting to really get focused on what is important to him or her. Young people often struggle with knowing what their values are, but many adults have the same problem. The use of a matrix at home and at school can be valuable to everyone in tracking daily routines as well as progress over time.

The author spends some time on praise, and how to provide authentic and specific praise so children (and adults) know why they are being praised. This significantly adds to the feeling of accomplishment for the one being praised. Ms. Al-Hidiq Zebib also stresses the importance of tactful correction. The Non-Progressive Consequence System is a compact tool that can serve as a powerful reminder of what can be done when corrections need to be made.

There are so many examples of great ideas and tips in this book, I cannot possibly cover them all in this review. I highly recommend “The COMPLETE Model for Positive Behavior Management” by Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib for not only teachers and parents, but for all people in general, as well. I know that I will be able to use many of the ideas and tips in this book in my relationships at home and at work. I will definitely be sharing this book with former teaching colleagues as well as many others. This book is truly a gem!

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The Complete Model for Positive Behavior Management: A Transformational Guide for Parents and Educators

Reviewed by Jacquelyn Gilchrist

August 2016

Rated as RECOMMENDED by the US Review

“If you want to see changes in your children, begin by changing yourself.”

Using the carrot, not the stick, and catching more flies with honey than with vinegar are time-honored sayings that are, unfortunately, oft-ignored in the classroom and at home. Yet, positive empowerment and proactive behavioral management are the keys to raising productive, conscientious, and emotionally intelligent children. The author is a longtime coach, educator, and mother who is well-suited to ask the difficult questions that drive inner reflection and positive change. Here, she presents her COMPLETE model-an acronym that stands for Contemplate and reflect, Open-heartedly listen, Make strong connections, Plan your priorities, Lead the learning through direct teaching, Empower through acknowledgment, Tactfully correct, and Evolve and transform.

Despite the seemingly abstract nature of positive empowerment, the author successfully provides a practical and actionable step-by-step guide to implementing her suggested strategies. The reader is encouraged to honestly reflect upon his or her own actions and attitudes and assess the extent to which they influence the behavior of children. Some readers might be tempted to simply skim the material, but this would be a mistake. Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib provides pathways for active engagement with the material, which challenges the reader to embrace personal growth and implement positive change.

Of particular interest is the chapter on making strong connections. The author argues that to encourage respectfulness in children, it is necessary to first display respect toward them. All too often, children who misbehave do so because they feel that the adults around them do not truly believe in their abilities. Instead trying to control a child’s every thought, action, and word, parents and educators ought to focus on nurturing a strong relationship with the child and on giving that child some much-needed support. The author’s guide to her COMPLETE model is a highly recommended, worthwhile read for both parents and educators.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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The Complete Model for Positive Behavior Management: A Transformational Guide for Parents and Educators

Testimonial by Josie Santomauro, International Author, Presenter & Consultant on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Australia.

August 3, 2016

The COMPLETE Model is exactly that, a supreme and exciting package to assist, nurture and enable positive child development. What makes this resource stand out is that the author not only provides user-friendly strategies but encourages the reader to also evolve, transform, look within, to focus on the positives, to utilise a different lens where we can only see good behaviour. Thank you Dina for creating this solid publication that can be utilised at home and school by any pro-active carer/educator, the tools benefiting not only students but the adults involved in their behaviour management journey.


The Complete Model for Positive Behavior Management: A Transformational Guide for Parents and Educators

Testimonial by Dr. Don Francis, Director of Awsaj Academy, Qatar Foundation Schools

“Dina is the epitome of PBIS [Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports]…The book offers practical applications for every teacher and parent from the perspective of an actual practitioner: a mother of two and a teacher of many (adults and children). You will find the reflective exercises and strategies easy to use to improve your skills each day. They are cased in the clever acronym COMPLETE that encases 8 simple ideals to transform your relationship with your students and children.”


The Complete Model for Positive Behavior Management: A Transformational Guide for Parents and Educators

Testimonial by Jody R. Roberson MS, LSSP-Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, LBSW-Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

“The book offers methods for how we can work with the behavior of children and students in a way that also helps to build the relationship. The tools and examples provided in the book were well written and are simple to understand. More importantly, I believe the techniques provided will be effective in increasing the responsibility of the student as well as maintaining and reinforcing the expectations as the adult. The author provides simple and positive illustrations with practical resources that can be used for many different situations. The book is in many ways attempting to assist the adult to develop a behavioral philosophy rather than just techniques. I believe this book will be an excellent resource for anyone working with children and adolescents that is wanting to move away from the “same old punitive methods” and would prefer to use a system that builds and fosters the relationship while at the same time providing accountability.”




CROSSROADS Reviewed by Anita Lock for The US Review of Books

Published 15 July 2015

“No matter where you are or where you go, the entire world rests in your heart.”

Thirty-five-year-old Sara once thought that she had it made: a wonderful husband, a sweet little boy, and a successful career. Now desperately seeking help from a therapist, Sara is at a complete loss since she has no idea how to save her marriage, rekindle the love that she and her husband Hani once had, and how to be the mother that her growing son needs. Al-Hidiq Zebib’s enlightening novel sheds light on the reality of marital issues and what it takes to create a successful marriage.

Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib’s debut novel is a fictional account of her “relentless search” for her role in life and the many crossroads that divert her life’s direction. Al-Hidiq Zebib utilizes the limited viewpoint to zero in on Sara’s thoughts as her story unfolds. While Sara’s character is centered on Islamic spirituality and is greatly affected by a wealth of thought-provoking legends and myths, Al-Hidiq Zebib sends a message to women that cuts across all forms of ethnicity, race, and creed by presenting a worldwide picture of the familiar trials and tribulations frequently associated with married life and the raising of a family. Al-Hidiq Zebib includes a plethora of common themes, such as idealism, perfectionism, selfishness, ignorance, and neglect to name just a few. Yet top on her list is the importance of introspection, which Al-Hidiq Zebib carefully and deftly interweaves amid alternating backstory and therapist scenes, as well as the ebb and flow of relational tension between Sara and Hani. Crossroads closes on a positive note, reminding readers that there is hope for marriages–only if couples are willing to take on the challenges necessary to make it become a blessed reality.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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CROSSROADS Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (05/15)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘Crossroads’ by Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib on Blogcritics.


“Crossroads,” a novel by Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib, is the story of Sara, a successful woman who finds her life’s journey turning out differently than she planned.   Struggling with herself internally, she strives to learn what matters to her most. Not knowing where else to turn, she goes to see a therapist. It is from her visits with the therapist that Sara begins to narrate her life story.

Sara had been heavily influenced by her grandmother, who exposed her to art and culture at an early age. Profoundly interested and curious about both, she follows her heart and passion, graduating with a double major in history. Listening to her grandmother’s stories all of her life had been a true learning experience that opened her mind to a world she loved so much.

Soon after graduation Sara finds a great job, dedicating herself to it completely. As time passes however, she starts feeling the need for a spiritual change. She searches for answers behind her emotions in the silence and stillness of prayer – answers she feels she needs in order to achieve happiness, and learn more about herself. Sara finds that love has been the greatest force behind all she had done, and when she finally finds her soulmate, her life feels abundantly happy. Within a few years however, Sara and her husband Hani both become so busy with their jobs they soon lose focus of their life together.

It is very challenging for a couple not to lose their way and maintain the flame of love, especially these days when lives are booked solid with work, kids, societal obligations, etc. It can be easy to forget what brought them together in the first place, love. We should never get distracted by what is going on outside our homes, and pay attention to those little things that helped us build love in the first place. Along the journey, if we encounter a situation or stumbling block that forces us to take a detour, we should look inside ourselves, feel our hearts and express our thoughts to our loved ones.

I loved “Crossroads” by Dina Al-Hidiq Zebib. It is a nicely detailed and romantic piece of contemporary women’s fiction, and will totally submerge readers in what Sara and Hani go through during the different phases of their lives. I am certain that many readers will find this story as helpful as I did. The combination of well written narrative, realistic characters, and true-life situations make it an interesting read. I am so grateful I came across this book and recommend it as a five star read!

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CROSSROADS Reviewed By Norm Goldman of 

Published April 21, 2015


With her debut novella, Dina Al- Hidiq Zebib tackles the emotionally loaded and delicate subject of marital dynamics where unfortunately a couple inflict pain upon one another without really realizing what is happening to them. Crossroads is a probing and evocative examination of how love can go astray, a story that no doubt elicits a sensation of familiarity, however, its retelling can link and sustain us if we pay heed to the message delivered.

The general theme of the narrative is summed up in the Foreword where the author informs her readers that she has chosen to write about “a young woman’s touching experience in life where crossroads she had come across diverted her direction to a course she had never considered to choose.” She further goes onto explain that by listening to her heart, this young woman was able to seek the truth thus “allowing her to salvage what she already had, and channel her life path along the route she found the most fulfilling.”

The narrative is wonderfully written and the author shows a great deal of sensitivity crafting her two principal characters, Sara and her husband Hani. Early in the story we learn that Sara originally came from Lebanon and during the time of its civil war she and her family had moved to Istanbul, Turkey. Although she had been reluctant to return to Lebanon, upon the advice and encouragement of her loving grandmother, she decides to take the plunge and return to her country of birth and make a new life for herself. Not long after her arrival in Lebanon she accepts employment with the Lebanese Cultural Center and it is at a friend’s 2000′ New Year’s Eve party where she meets Hani. The couple are immediately attracted to each other and eventually marry. However, as is the case in many marriages, the honeymoon begins to stumble when their first child comes along. Sara must now figure out her role at home? How will she navigate her marriage? How will Hani handle it and will he be supportive of her? Will the couple realize that they have a serious problem and will they openly communicate with each other? Psychologists refer to these difficulties as marital stressors and very often they inevitably challenge or threaten a marriage. In fact, as is the case of Sara and Hani, they did cause a great deal of tension and discord fueling bitterness as well as their drifting apart. There were constant fights, arguments, shouting, as well as insults and unfortunately no one was around to calm them down.

To better understand herself Sara refers to ancient myths including that of Jason, the ancient Greek leader of the Argonauts who was escaping from Talos’ rocks, when his wife, Medea the sorceress, casts a spell on him, blurring his vision. His weaker foot slipped and he fell which caused his end. Reflecting on this myth, Sara acknowledges that it is a representation of real-life events that communicate invaluable lessons. Moreover, could this same story relate to her and was it possible that her life of love, confidence, peace and happiness be bruised beyond repair?

In an unflinching study of the complex relationship between a husband and wife, Al- Hidiq Zebib provides her readers with characters that appear real because she has revealed their flaws. In addition, she conveys insights into the love and dependence that tie couples together and on the other hand the challenges and abandonment that can isolate their relationship.

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