The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Back to School Tips discusses bullying. Bullying or cyberbullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, over the Internet or through mobile devices like cellphones.
When your child is bullied the Academy suggests the following:|

• Look the bully in the eye

• Stand tall and stay calm

• Walk away

•Teach your child how to speak in a firm voice.

• “I don’t like what you are doing.”

• “Please do NOT talk to me that way.”

• “Why would you say that?”

• Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help.

• Encourage your child to make friends with other children

• Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.

• Monitor your child’s social media or texting interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.

When your child is the bully they suggest the following:

• Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.

• Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.

• Be a positive role model.

• Use effective, nonphysical discipline, such as loss of privileges.

When your child is a bystander they suggest the following:

• Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.

• Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.

• Help your child support other children who may be bullied.

• Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.

Sally Robinson is a clinical professor of pediatrics at UTMB Children’s Hospital. This column isn’t intended to replace the advice of your child’s physician.