Mystery Shopping with Young Kids: Tips for Success

Mystery shopping is a great job for moms and dads! It offers parents the ability to earn some much-needed cash without the need to hire a babysitter or arrange for childcare of some sort. It sure can be a hassle to find someone to watch your kids while you work, not to mention rather costly if you have to pay for childcare! Thankfully, with mystery shopping, you have the ability to bring your little ones along with you while your work. This makes mystery shopping ideal for everyone from the stay-at-home mom or dad who just wants to get out of the house from time to time to earn some extra cash to the young family that is struggling to pay bills and really needs some extra cash without the expense of childcare.

As great as mystery shopping can be for parents with young kids, you can imagine that working at any job, even one as great as mystery shopping, can be a little challenging when you have your kids in tow. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Shop Around Your Kids. Just about everything else in your life revolves around your little ones, including even when you eat, sleep, and bathe. Likewise, you will want to plan your mystery shopping assignments around your kids’ schedules. Little ones are notorious for having their high points and low points during the day and nighttime hours, and you likely know all too well just when you can expect your little one to be prone to whining, meltdowns, and tantrums. You will want to plan your assignments to coincide with your child’s happier times of the day, or even during naptime if he or she can nap in a stroller quietly. You will want to be able to devote most of your attention to your assignment during the site visit, and timing is everything when shopping with a young child.

Keep Your Child Happy. It is absolutely amazing how little ones can stay enraptured by the smallest things for so long. Experts say they have short attention spans, but every parent knows those little things that can really entertain their child for more than a few minutes. Whether this is a snack of grapes and crackers, a favorite toy, or even (for preschoolers and older) a favorite cartoon playing on your iPhone or other device, you will definitely want to plan ahead and bring some things to keep your little one entertained. You may find that if you mystery shop quite a bit, you will need a veritable “bag of tricks,” so to speak. This bag may be filled with coloring books and crayons your little one can play with in a stroller or shopping cart, a portable gaming device, an iPod for listening to children’s songs, snacks and drinks, and whatever else makes your child happy and content.

Have a Plan of Attack. The last thing you want to do when mystery shopping with a little one is to go into the site location and not have a clue what to do. Be sure that you read the requirements for your site visit carefully, commit them to memory, and have a plan of attack for how you will accomplish all of the requirements. You may find that simply visualizing how you will walk through the store or otherwise fulfill the requirements can really make it easy for you to get the assignment completed accurately. Even with the best laid plans for entertaining your child, you can bet that your attention will be somewhat divided during the site visit, so preparation is key to getting the assignment done right.

Mystery shopping with little ones can be challenging, but it is a great way for parents to earn some extra cash with their kids in tow. When you follow these tips, you will find that you have a much easier time earning money mystery shopping with your kids.