At this age, our kid's friendships are an important part of their social development. They're developing a sense of self and discovering their interests, which is why friendships become more significant during this time.
Encourage their friendships by making your place a safe place to be with plenty of snacks, but make the bedroom food free! It's a great way to keep connected (aka listen!) to what's going on in their world. Also, support them to participate in group activities where they can continue to have different friends from their school mates - this widens their networks and means if school friendships are in a bad place, these others will help. Cousins and close siblings will do the same. By supporting your child in their friendships, you're helping them to develop important skills that will benefit them through their lifetime.
Here's more of our top tips...