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I have almost finished a book about the behavioral management of children for substitute teachers.

I have referred to one of the techniques as "Manipulation".

However, the word "Manipulation" has negative connotations and is a word that probably should not be used when referring to children (although the technique involves sly and clever ways to get children to behave).

Does anyone have a word or words that I can use to substitute for "Manipulation"?

The behavioral management techniques involve the acronym "SAMM", so if you can think of a word(s) that begins with the letter M that would be preferable.

 

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You have the only apt word on your post, beside Motivation

Manage. Managing. Management.

Manipulation in your context is used to gain some degree of control that effects behavior, movement, using psychology to overcome objections/reluctance  for them to comply with norms, or your will, etc. You are right that Manipulation can have sinister connotations. I think all three variations above should be what you are looking for, even if you have to add another word with any of them and the way you frame the sentences. Management also applies to discipline when all else fails to maintain control. .

Eg managing expectations by downplaying. .. , manage behaviour through restriction/encouragement of... , management of the child's environment, and that sort of thing.

Other than those above, theraurus doesn't show any starting with M

Edit: Motivation could also be used to entice a certain behavior. 

Motivational Management Techniques

Eg. Some children will be motivated by a star on their work, others will be motivated by recognition for achiement by verbal praise in front of the class, or by say a note to take home to parents outlining achievement. The giving or taking away of responsibilities. Etc.
 

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Guidance...  Direction....    Supervision....  Handling.... 

But yes, if you want the word to begin with 'M' you can stick with Management.  Or Maneuver, or Method.
 

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Behavioral Modification is a catchphrase you often hear.  So perhaps there's an 'M' for you.
 
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