Mystery shopping is a really great job for parents with kids of all ages. Whether you are a mom or dad with a young infant, you have a teenager who needs your attention and supervision, or if you have several kids of all ages, mystery shopping offers you some incredible benefits that other jobs cannot provide to you. The job is great for parents because it allows you to work around a child’s schedule, which may include nap times and feedings for very young children to providing a taxi service to your teen and his or her friends. Many assignments even allow you to bring your child along with you, which is simply unheard for other types of money-making jobs. However, before you bring your kids along for a fun day of mystery shopping, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Read the Requirements. You only need to have a few completed mystery shopping assignments under your belt to realize that every assignment has its own set of requirements and guidelines, and some have some very particular requirements about kids. Some assignments specifically require you to bring children along, and these may be assignments for children’s toy stores, children’s retail clothing stores, some fast food restaurants, children’s play areas, and more. On the flip side, however, other assignments will specifically prohibit you from performing the site visit with kids. If the assignment requirements do not mention children one way or another, it is safe to assume that it is OK to bring kids along with you.
Best Judgment. The assignment requirements certainly will supersede your judgment, and you should definitely follow all rules that require children to join you or prohibit children from mystery shopping with you. However, you should also use your best judgment on any assignment that you may be considering bring kids along on. You know your kids better than anyone, and you know how they are likely to behave. Most kids have a unique “best time” of the day when they are usually in a good mood, and most kids will have a natural time of day when they need some quiet time to relax. Try to keep these times of the day in mind as you plan a mystery shopping assignment. If you think your child or children won’t be able to handle the assignment without having a meltdown or throwing a fit, keep looking for another assignment to work on.
Entertainment. Most kids really do not find shopping to be interesting at all, and they can grow bored long before you have fulfilled all of your assignment requirements. Plan ahead by bringing some light snacks, a lollipop, a hand-held gaming device or something else similar that can keep them moderately distracted. To really get the most use out of these items, don’t pull these items out as soon as you enter the site. Instead, wait for them to start getting antsy or bored before you pull out the entertainment. If you are bringing more than one child along, be sure you have enough options for all of the kids to enjoy without arguing.
It is always great when you can bring your child or children along with you to work, but you do need to consider some of the points raised here if you want to have a stress-free time mystery shopping with little ones in tow!