Naomi Watts says her children are ''fantastic little boys''.

The 48-year-old actress has Alexander Pete, nine, and Samuel Kai, eight, with her ex-partner Liev Schreiber, and has gushed over how ''sensitive'' they are, despite having moments when she thinks parenting is too much for her.

She said: ''They're very sensitive people, they're fantastic little boys. But [I've] definitely had other times where you're like, 'Oh I can't do this!' But that's what being a parent is. You know no one's perfect. You do your best though.''

And the blonde beauty has enlisted the help of her 'The Book of Henry' co-star 14-year-old Maddie Ziegler - who gained fame appearing as a dancer in various music videos for Sia - to help her convince her youngest son not to give up dancing.

Naomi told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''My son does tap dance and he was wanting to quit and feeling like he just didn't wanna do it anymore. And I asked [Maddie] to send a message to him. So I videotaped her and she said, 'Kai, don't quit. You've got to give it your all.' It was just really sweet of her to do that and my son was like, 'Ahh!' He was blown away.''

Meanwhile, the 'Shut In' actress recently claimed she ''always knew'' she'd be a mother of two boys, and said whilst she's not necessarily a strict parent, she is a ''stickler for manners''.

She said: ''I always knew I'd be a mum of two boys. Being a mum is about guiding them but also staying out of the way. And I'm a stickler for manners. The British in me.''

And Naomi - who split from Liev eight months ago after 11 years together - is using the time she has to herself to focus on her career, but she's decided she will only take on projects that she can ''connect'' with.

She said recently: ''I'm here to tell the stories. Not just to go to work and get paid by great actors and directors; it's more than that. It has to be stuff that you're connecting with, if it's bringing something back into your own life.

''If it's not growing me, then what's the point?''