Leaving your children home alone for the first time is scary. But there comes a time when you realize the babysitter you hired is only a year older than your child. It happens around the age of 12 or 13. We had reached that moment and decided we could leave our children for short periods of time, half-hour, or an hour at the most. These trial runs had been successful. Our children, ages 12 and 7, seemed to handle life at home without us. We thought they were ready for something a little longer.