Summer Mystery Shopping With the Kids: Hot Tips for Busy Parents

If you are one of the many mystery shoppers who are also parents of younger kids, you no doubt are having mixed feelings about the summer months. Many parents love to spend extra time with their school-age kids during the summer months, but they also know that the kids will present additional challenges to them as they try to go to work and earn money by completing mystery shopping assignments. Mystery shopping with kids can be challenging due to a number of reasons. For example, you may be afraid they will blow your cover, or they may distract you and cause you to overlook assignment requirements or forget little but important details. Mystery shopping with kids can be fun, but you do want to follow a few tips to ensure success.

It’s a New Year

Unless you are a new parent of an infant or you are new to mystery shopping, you may have tried to mystery shop with your kids in the past. Keep in mind that this is a new year, and whatever challenges you had with your kids in previous years may not be a concern now. For example, younger kids that once liked to run throughout the store and distract you may be old enough to stand quietly by your side. However, while some challenges may be gone, new ones may be in place. Take time to consider what type of behavioral challenges you can expect from your kids at the stores this year as a first step.

Develop a Strategy

Because the challenges you faced last year by mystery shopping with kids may be replaced with new challenges, you will need to develop some new strategies for completing your mystery shopping assignments with ease. For example, smaller kids that once may have been distracted with a bag of cereal loops as a snack while you worked may now be older and may require electronic devices, promises of a frozen yogurt treat or something else to encourage them to be on their best behavior while you work. Even older kids may simply find your job rather fascinating, and you can actually put them to work by having them read the assignment requirements and walk through the assignment site visit with you.

Find a Babysitter

If you simply cannot get through your assignments despite all of your best efforts and most thoughtful strategies, keep in mind that you can always get a babysitter for the smaller kids or leave your older kids at home. Some kids love to get out of the house and go shopping, but others cannot imagine a worse way to spend their free time. If you do schedule a babysitter, make sure that you will be earning more money from your assignments than you will need to pay the babysitter for childcare services.

If mystery shopping with kids doesn’t sound fun, simply remember that the summer is only a few months long. Soon enough, your kids will head back to preschool or elementary school once again.