Many mystery shopping assignments will allow mystery shoppers to bring kids along on the site visits. Being able to work without having to worry about making childcare arrangements is a blessing for many parents, but it can also be a real headache. If you are mystery shopping with kids in tow, use some of these valuable tips for making mystery shopping with kids stress-free.
Attention-Getters. From the time your kids are old enough to crawl around and get into trouble reaching and grabbing for things, you likely learned the benefits of distractions. Using distractions while mystery shopping with kids is often a key strategy to successfully completing assignments without major headaches. With the many digital devices available today from iPods to portable DVD players and hand-held gaming systems, there are numerous ways your kids can stay entertained while you keep your attention focused on the job at hand. Snack time is often a great way to keep kids out of trouble as well. Consider bringing fruit snacks, grapes, and other not-too-messy snacks with you to keep the kids otherwise engaged for a few minutes while you complete the site visit.
Incentives. Some parents call it a bribe, and others call it a reward for good behavior. If your beliefs on parenting allow for a quick stop at the fast-food joint down the street to reward excellent behavior on your site visit with a milkshake, you can stretch this incentive out for a full day of good behavior. Other incentives include allowing your child to have a friend sleep over, stopping at the park to play, extra TV or video game time, reading their favorite story to them, and more. Simply tell your child that he has to be on his best behavior the whole time you are shopping, and he will get whatever treat most motivates him, whether it be food, free time, friends, or whatever else is reasonable.
Work Ethic. For older children who are old enough to know what you are doing and are mature enough to keep your mystery shopping a secret, by all means let them in on what you are doing. Many older kids will be fascinated by walking through a mystery shopping assignment with you. Let them read through the assignment requirements before you go into the store, and remind them to play along with you in your undercover role. Chances are, your older child will have just as much fun mystery shopping as you do! What’s more, letting your child see you at work is great way to instill work ethic in your child. Just be careful not to let a child that is too young to keep mystery shopping a secret in on your secret. The last thing you want is to be standing in front of a store employee and have your child say, “Are you done mystery shopping? I want to go home.”
While mystery shopping with kids can be stressful at times, there is no denying that being able to make money while spending time with your kids can’t be beat!