Julia Fox sparks a debate after urging parents to buy their children cleaning supplies instead of toys

Julia Fox has sparked a debate about parenting, after encouraging adults to get their children cleaning tools instead of toys.

In a video posted to her TikTok on Monday, the 32-year-old model and actress discussed the “concept of childhood” and claimed that it convinces parents to buy things that their children don’t need.

“I think that the idea of childhood was invented as a way to just get parents to spend a lot of money on s*** that’s…not really teaching your kid anything,” said the mother of one, who shares her 19-month-old son, Valentino, with ex-husband Peter Artemiev. “You just end up kind of raising a kid that’s like helpless and doesn’t know what to do.”

She went on to acknowledge how her child doesn’t care about his “toys”, before telling parents to buy their children a variety of cleaning supplies, such as “a mini-mop or broom”.

“I found that with my son, he doesn’t care about his toys, and he is actually more interested in like what I’m doing,” Fox continued. “So I suggest that everyone buy their kid a mini-mop and mini-broom and start teaching them those life skills really young, so when they enter the real world they don’t have to outsource for everything.”

“And they know how to do things for themselves,” the Uncut Gems star concluded. “I think that’s really important.”

As of 23 August, the video has more than 2 million views, with TikTok users in the comments praising Fox and agreeing with her advice.

“We love a sociology queen,” one wrote.

“Yes, everyone always compliments my daughter’s vocabulary/speech and it is because I have always conversed with her like a human, not a helpless being,” another person wrote.

A third viewer said: “And kids actually LIKE DOING THAT STUFF. Sometimes they want those toy vacuums and brooms on their own so they can do what their parents are doing.”

However, other TikTok users noted that giving children toys isn’t a bad thing and didn’t fully agree with Fox’s perspective on childhood.

“Giving kids toys that don’t necessarily have a purpose (to us) isn’t ‘pointless,’ it aids in their cognitive/physical development! Toys aren’t useless,” one wrote.

“I would argue that the concept of childhood is more about protecting people at the most vulnerable stage of their life than selling products?” another added.

Fox and Artemiev welcomed their son in January 2021. However, they weren’t always on the best terms, as she called him out for his parenting habits and claimed he was a “deadbeat dad” last December. Artemiev went on to deny those claims and called them “utterly false statements”. In January, Fox apologised to her ex and said that he was “not a deadbeat”.