Dear Abby: At grandkids’ games, he trashes the players

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DEAR ABBY: We need help with our dad. Many of his grandchildren participate in sports. For some reason, he thinks it’s perfectly fine to sit in the stands surrounded by people he doesn’t know and loudly criticize the other players.

We talk to him before the games. We remind him that he’s sitting by these players’ parents and what he’s doing is not cool.

Some of the parents become quite emotional if things don’t go well, and Dad doesn’t need to be doing this. Yet he continues.

Have you any ideas on getting Grandpa to keep his opinions to himself? We don’t want to ban him from games and treat him like a 5-year-old who can’t behave, since he is still able to travel to see us for these visits. We try to sit away from others, but it’s not always possible. — EMBARRASSED IN HOUSTON

DEAR EMBARRASSED: You already know the answer to your problem, and I do not understand why you haven’t taken action. Was your father always this way, or has he become demented?

When an adult acts like a 5-year-old and behaves inappropriately after having been cautioned against it, there is cause for concern. If he is unable to control his behavior at those games, instead of being allowed to ruin them for everyone within earshot, he should ABSOLUTELY be banned from attending.

If you won’t do it for the sake of the players and other parents, then do it for your father’s safety because one of these days, an irate parent or relative may punch his lights out.

DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband had an affair with a woman who was one of my dearest friends. My heart is broken; my marriage is over. I have lost my home and my friend. It has been a struggle for me to recover.

My daughter, with whom I am very close, continues to have a relationship with this woman. While I know it’s not my place to tell her who to be friends with (she’s 22), I can’t help but feel betrayed.

My daughter is pregnant, and this woman seems to be attempting to play mother and push her way into every detail of my daughter’s pregnancy.

It’s extremely upsetting to me to have to share one more thing with her. She already took my home and husband; I would like to keep my daughter and grandbaby. What to do? — THE REAL GRANDMA-TO-BE

DEAR REAL GRANDMA: Although you cannot cut this woman completely out of your life because she is now with your ex, calmly discuss this with your daughter. She may have reasons that you are unaware of for wanting to include the woman to the extent that she has.

DEAR ABBY: My niece was married by a justice of the peace in October. She and her husband are having a church wedding this summer. What would be the proper date to recognize on a gift? — DONNA IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR DONNA: If you are having the wedding gift engraved, you should ask your niece which date she and her husband would prefer.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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