What does it mean: Tough it out
In the past, kids were told to work out problems by themselves and weren't allowed to complain so much.
Something like that.
I think the speaker is trying to compare kids today with children of yesteryear. And one of the differences between children then and kids now is that, I speculate, today's kids are soft.
Whereas children in the past were tough, because they were raised that way. I'm not sure if this is the exact conclusion the speaker is making to attempting to get at, but, luckily, we're only here to address the phrase “tough it out”.
“Tough it out”, literally, means for us to take a tough attitude during a time of stress or difficulty. This means we should persevere rather than quit. We should grit our teeth and endure the pain and hardship we have to face without, say, complaining all the time. For example, if we encounter some difficulty in the middle of a task, we should not give up. Instead, we should stay focused and remain determined, and get on with the task at hand till the very end.
If you continue to work while you're sick, you're toughing it out.
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