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Bloomberg Says City Kids Over-Coddled

By Jill Colvin | February 22, 2013 2:09pm

NEW YORK CITY — There's the over-bearing Tiger Mom, the helicopter parents — and now Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The mayor, who was often criticized for nannying New Yorkers, dished on parenting on his weekly radio show Friday, saying kids are being coddled too much and left unprepared for the "real world."

"We've gotten [to a point in society] where somebody's got to be blamed for everything and we don't want anybody to feel hurt," he said, responding to a question from host John Gambling about where the country's education system had gone wrong.

He pointed to a cartoon he remembered seeing in The New Yorker which featured a teacher telling two parents, "We've successfully isolated your child from any criticism or competition... so he or she will be totally unprepared for the real world."

“If kids have a fight it’s [seen as] the world’s worst thing," said Bloomberg. "Kids fight."

He also criticized the growing number of parents who are choosing to home-school their kids instead of sending them to traditional schools.

"I think you probably can teach kids the 'Three Rs' better... assuming the parent's a good teacher, working all the time," he said. “But you don’t have the real-world experiences."

The same, he said, was true of the proliferation of online classes at community and 4-year colleges, which he's questioned in the past.

"There's something different about being in the classroom. You talk to the other kids," he said, arguing that young people should be encouraged to go away for college instead.

"If you are lucky enough to be able to go away to school for a couple of years or four years, it's a very good thing. You learn how to deal with people," he said.

“For many of us, it’s a first time away without the support. Every kid goes through, 'Oh my goodness, I'm going to fail the test, or nobody likes me, I'm not invited to go out, I couldn't get a date tonight,'" he said. “That’s part of growing up."