Ann Dolin: Do your child's homework assignments involve constant erasing and doovers? If so, you may have a perfectionist on your hands. Perfectionist children often engage in critical self-talk convincing themselves that nothing is quite good enough.
The good news it that there are certain strategies parents can use to help their children ease stress. To help your child feel less overwhelmed, encourage him or her to prioritize their daily homework assignments. Have your child start with an easy task then followed by a herder one and continue to alternate until homework is complete.
This will help your child feel more in control and confident and be sure to establish a family policy for the time homework should be completed. This will discourage your child from working into all hours of the evening and if you feel your child's perfectionism is the result of a more serious anxiety issue, consult a professional.
A good therapist can tackle the all or nothing in worst case scenario thinking that hampers many perfectionist children and he will be able to provide you with strategies to help your child manage these behaviors.
Finally, be aware of how your expectations for top grades may be subtly sending the wrong method. It's important for all students to understand that perfectionism is not the ultimate goal.