Mystery shopping is a popular job for stay-at-home parents. While some parents mystery shop regularly throughout the year with younger kids, more mystery shoppers mystery shop with kids during the summer months when the older kids are out of school. If you have completed mystery shopping assignments in the past with kids, you know just how stressful this can be. So how can you take the stress out of mystery shopping with kids?
Distract and Focus
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of mystery shopping with kids is the distraction kids create for mystery shoppers. When completing a site visit, mystery shoppers must focus intently on completing their assignment requirements. They must memorize staff member numbers, keep track of the time they entered and left the site location, make numerous observations and more. This is difficult enough for most mystery shoppers to do without kids in tow. Kids can create numerous distractions for mystery shoppers, which can decrease your ability to focus on your assignment requirements. If you want to avoid distractions yourself and focus more clearly on your job, the key is to distract your kids. You can consider distracting them with cell phone apps, hand held video games, snacks, books an more. Most kids have a short attention span, so you will still need to work quickly while their attention is diverted
As a parent, if you have a bad memory, you are not alone. Your attention is constantly being diverted in twenty different directions, and it can be impossible to remember all of the details that you need to while completing a site visit. One way to make sure you remember everything is to jot down notes. This can be done by typing little notes into you cell phone or using a paper-and-pen shopping list. You can also wait until you get back in the car to take notes.
Keep Your Job a Secret
If the stress of actually working on an assignment with kids in tow was not enough, many mystery shopping parents are concerned about their kids blowing their cover while on-site. One of the best ways to prevent your kids from blabbing about your reason for being at the site location is to simply not tell them. You can tell them you are running an errand or looking for something specific, but you don’t have to tell them you are mystery shopping. After all, if they don’t know why you are really there, they can’t tell other people.
Many parents really do appreciate the ability they have to earn money mystery shopping without having to find childcare for their kids. While working with your kids does have its benefits, it also can be entirely stressful on you. Kids themselves can be a distraction, and they can prevent you from really focusing on your work. They may even blow your cover altogether if you aren’t careful. You can take these tips into consideration as you work on assignments with your kids this summer and throughout the year.