DEAR ABBY: I am ready to explode. My father-in-law dotes on my 16-year-old daughter, who is his only grandchild. The biggest issue, aside from his overspending, is that he takes her to and from school every day and then expects to stay and visit.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to sit and chitchat with him about the same old stuff over and over. My husband doesn't want to be involved. (He doesn't get home until after his father has left, anyway.) It would probably end up in a nasty fight.
I want to politely make "Dad" understand that he doesn't need to come in every single day. I know he will think we are being negative or against him personally, and from past events, I don't want to come across in this manner. Please help. -- TOO MUCH OF A "GOOD" THING IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR TOO MUCH: Obviously, your father-in-law doesn't have enough going on in his life to fill his time. Things won't change until you manage to set some boundaries.
It would not be "negative against him" if you had to go out and run errands or your daughter had to do homework after she gets home from school. It would also not be negative, since you don't have time to sit and chat, to ask him to pitch in and help with the chores.
You might also suggest that he do some volunteer work to fill his time. But you will have to schedule a time for him to feel welcome -- perhaps a Sunday dinner -- when your husband is home and can help to entertain his father.