Although children will never understand exactly what happened to create the tension or outburst, they will learn that it is okay to be cruel and hurtful as long as you say you’re sorry and bring presents. They will believe that it is normal to disrespect the people you love. They will learn to express their own feelings by degrading and hurting others or by allowing themselves to be degraded and hurt. No matter how violence in a home is experienced, emotionally, physically and/or sexually, our children are always harmed.
Children that grow up in homes where physical and emotional violence exist learn to live with, and adapt to, the cycle of violence. The tension builds, the violent outburst occurs, and the “honeymoon” phase follows. The victims (children included) live for the honeymoon phase. The children often know that this is the time when the abuser is loving. Mommy and Daddy are happy again and maybe the family has some fun together.