I’m a Tough Old Bird

Caricature of Gail as tough old bird

Tough Old Bird

Recently a young woman told me she liked my radio spots, “but you’re not a tough old bird.” I laughed. The truth is I do have lots of soft spots and I can be seriously tough on some issues. One issue that I remain tough about is something all parents need to get IMHO. That is logical consequences. Most of the world functions in this way. For example if you eat too many sweets and don’t brush them your teeth will likely decay. That is a result of logical consequences. If you run a red light you are likely to get a ticket for a traffic violation. That is a logical consequence. If you don’t pay your monthly notes for your vehicle it will be reposed. That is a logical consequence. If you skip work frequently you will likely be fired. That is a logical consequence. I can be tough about logical consequences.

I was raised by two no nonsense-type parents. My mother came from a family who respected education and hard work. Her father owned the largest store in their town. Mom worked there. My dad came from an Irish family. His father owned cotton gins (if you don’t know what that is, you should, so Google it.) Daddy was one of ten children, eight who lived past infancy. Every one of them knew what it was to work very hard. Dad was forced to quit school in the eighth grade in order to pick cotton. In spite of this life style all of them grew to be strong adults. The men were leaders in their field of work. I was raised with a strong work ethic. I tell this so you will understand that I have very little tolerance for anyone expecting a free ride. The world expects something from us.

Our world is not kind, caring, or compassionate for the most part. It is tough. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized my upbringing had prepared me very well for the circumstances that I would face. I saw others who weren’t so well prepared. These days I often hear stories of adults who can’t adjust on the job, do not know how to manage money, and some who leave their responsibilities on the shoulders of others.

As you raise your sons and daughters allow them to experience logical consequences for their actions or lack of. It will be a valuable lesson in how the world works, the world they must live in as an adult.

My soft spot for single moms and women in general is because I see that the world isn’t fair in it’s treatment of women. The simple fact that men leave and women are left to raise children is not fair. Women cannot match the earning potential of a man who doesn’t have to take care of sick, disabled, or infant children. When I worked in special education several of my parents went through divorces. None of the fathers took charge of the most heartbreaking situations you can imagine.

I make no apologies for my compassion for single mothers. I respect them for the valiant effort they make everyday to raise responsible citizens.

Yes, I’m a tough old bird who respects hard work and logical consequences.

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