I also suspect that most of the people who support the smacking ban have no experience of children who behave in ways that push their parents beyond their limits.
That includes another taboo topic - children who are sometimes violent. The Irish charity Parentline has reported an increase in child on parent violence in recent years, but there is little coverage and even less being done to help families in this situation.
Smacking is NOT the answer to this problem either. At least in my opinion.
But I do think that now the ban is in place, there needs to be urgent help for children and teenagers who show such extreme behaviour. Violent behaviour is not good for them, their parents or society. Apportioning blame is not the answer and it won't always be possible to identify the exact cause, but violence in children may co-exist with one or more of the following:
Post traumatic stress disorder
Due to life experiences such as war, disaster or domestic violence.
Such as sociopathy and psychopathy.
Neurological difference and intellectual disability
Both of these can lead to children lashing out due to frustration, inability to communicate, lack of understanding or coping mechanisms, or stress.
Increasing exposure to violence
This is supposed to be one of the ways that terrorist organisations use to turn children and young people into killers, so I do wonder if repeated watching of violent films and video games could have an effect, though enthusiasts deny it.
What happens to these children? Many of them will be punished for their violent outbursts. But based on the above list, does punishing children for things like surviving domestic violence, or trying to cope with stress seem fair? I don't think so. Many of these children will have very poor self esteem, they will have been criticised and labelled all their lives. Punishing them may make them feel even worse about themselves than they do already.
But they do need to learn that violence is not the solution.
Violence within families is one of the reasons that children go into residential care of different kinds and that's not an ideal outcome for anyone. And what happens when they grow up? Studies show that many children in care do not do well as adults, partly because the help often stops when they reach 18.
This is a problem for society, not just individual families: without help some of these children will face a bleak future, their lives may be blighted and their potential unfulfilled, but if they continue to react with violence as adults, that will impact negatively on their relationships, their careers and even their freedom.
Meanwhile parents are traumatised and in emotional turmoil. The mental anguish of being attacked by the child you adore cannot be overestimated, even if you understand why.
So what can be done?
Well there are gentle ways to parent children who are violent or have other difficulties, outlined in books such as Connected Parenting and The Explosive Child. But the parenting advice in them is not easy to follow, especially when parents feel hurt and resentful of the way that their children behave: parents do not suddenly become perfect human beings after giving birth, despite society's expectations.
What this issue needs is more awareness, more discussion and a champion to support it. Putting in the resources now to help these children will benefit society in the long term.
I am glad that parents can no longer smack children. Now I want to see a future where children no longer feel the need to smack their parents.