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Even when your child is old enough to plan her own activities, encourage her to have friends over. Make your home a welcoming place for your child’s’ friends. This can make things easier as she, and her friendships, mature. It will also give you the chance to get to know your child’s friends.

4. Help Your Child Work Through Friendship Troubles

Misunderstandings are common to friendships. Your child may need help working through emotions from time to time. In a study of 267 kids between 9 and 11 years old, the way a child perceived his friends’ behavior determined whether he got angry, sad, or felt OK about the situation. Kids who felt angry were more likely to want to end the friendship.

This isn’t to say you should step in and work everything out for your child. You might, however, point out that there are two sides to every story. Or you could say, "Why don’t you wait a day or two and invite your friend back over?" suggests Newman.

5. Let Your Child Choose Friends That Fit

Friendships can expand your child’s view of the world. That might mean, for instance, that he hangs out with a child from a family whose religion is different from your own. Unless your child is in danger, it's a good idea to give your children room to make their own friends. "Our goal in educating our children is helping them make their own choices," says Turner.

If you feel a friendship is putting your child at risk, however, step in. You may talk with the school to find out more about your child’s friend. You may share your concerns with your child and tell him you need to be around any time he’s together with this friend. Or you may tell him not to spend time with that kid, period. Just be aware that ultimatums are hard to enforce, so say this only if you really mean it.

6. Keep an Eye Out for Teasing or Bullying

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