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Creative

Bad Education: This Upsetting UNICEF Experiment Shows How Children Process Punishment

Leo Burnett Beirut workshopped with children to explore their home life – and their re-enactments of parental punishment are truly shocking

Bad Education: This Upsetting UNICEF Experiment Shows How Children Process Punishment

In June, UNICEF reached out to parents in Lebanon, begging them to #ENDviolence. They worked with a group of children, who represented a cross section of Lebanese society, to find out just how they interpreted their parent’s hateful words and violent punishment.

The resulting film turns out to be quite a difficult watch. The workshop leaders first encourage a group of children to act out pleasant parental actions, to show how their parents display love, affection and support. However when the children are asked to show how their parents educate them, the film takes a dark turn. In Arabic, they recite that universal parental threat that seems to transcend language: ‘I’ll teach you a lesson’. Fear, anger and resentment intertwine as the children start to re-enact some of the ‘lessons’ they have received from angry parents. And, while we’re always inclined to take brand-led ‘social experiment’ films with a pinch of salt, the raw emotion displayed by some of the children in this film is disturbing and deeply affecting.

Since hitting the Internet in June, the film has generated over half a million views on Facebook. 

 


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