When Alison Garcia, 16, announced that she was leaving home to be with her 36-year-old lover, her parents could have been forgiven for hitting the roof.
Instead, Sheila and Paul Garcia did something most other parents would find unthinkable.
Last month, they invited divorced double-glazing fitter and father-of-one Craig Wright into their home, where he now shares a bedroom with their daughter.
According to 51-year-old Sheila, of Northfleet, Kent, who runs a yachting business with her 56-year-old husband, they had no choice in the matter.
"What I didn't want was to back her into a corner by laying down the law and forcing her to choose between me and him," she says.
Rather more enlightening is her admission: "We took the liberal approach to bringing up our child.
"We treated her like a mini-adult all along, never taking the attitude that because she was a child we should treat her as less of an equal." [Children need to be treated as children, not adults! At least in America 16 is still a child]
But if anything, the experience of the Garcia family is a depressing reminder of the perils of modern parenting, where boundaries and guidelines are so often thrown out of the window and where allowing a child to do whatever they want is somehow seen as the action of a loving, trusting parent.
Alison met her middle-aged lover in a pub - despite being two years below the legal age for drinking alcohol.
A few weeks later, Alison introduced Wright to her parents, and told them they wanted to rent a place together.
In January, she asked them if her lover could move into the family home while they save up. [Wait, the 36 year old couldn't afford an apartment?! If they are so mature, they should be able to get their own place]
Not surprisingly, Sheila was initially horrified at the prospect.
"My mum told me in no uncertain terms there was no way, because she's dead against us being together.
"But my dad managed to convince her that it was better for us to live there with them than move out into a flat that was not decent. [Astounding logic from a FATHER!]
But on the other, the couple seem strangely reluctant to accept any responsibility for what is happening to their daughter, blaming "society" instead.
A critic might counter that it is often parents themselves who pass on such values to their children and then react with horror at the resulting behaviour.
But Sheila insists: "For now, all I can do is bite my tongue and hope I'm right about what I think the outcome of this will be."
"When it does end in tears, I'll be here to pick up the pieces. That's what mums do," says Sheila.
"I want her to be able to come to me for support and advice.
Related stories: British Lolita ; Italian Lolita - this time 13!