I can't do it.

What do you do when your child turns to you and says "I can't do it"?

The first time I remember my son saying it to me he had not long turned two. I asked him to try to put his trousers on by himself. He looked me straight in the eye and said "I can't do it Mummy". It was one of those moments when you realise you are a very important person. What you do and the manner you bring your children up in has such a huge impact on them.

I told him that he could do it. That he could do anything he wanted to do (as long as it wasn't bad), but that sometimes things take time. I realised afterwards that this wasn't necessarily the best plan. Since then, I have changed tack. Whenever he says that he can't do something, I tell him to try again. "Just try again one more time, and I will help you if you still can't do it". The look of triumph on his face when he manages to do it is absolutely fantastic.

He's been really struggling with getting his socks and his coat on (not at the same time) and trying again, one more time, has been really working. Obviously some of the time I have to help him out, that's fine, and not met with any negativity from me. I love to see how independent my little boy is getting. He'll be three in March and he dresses himself completely and is brilliant at putting on his shoes. It's doesn't half speed up our mornings now that he can get his own clothes on!

The latest thing he wants to do by himself is drive our car. I've told him he can. When he's 17. They'd better not change the age for driving, he's counting down the days!