I would guess the fathers did not enjoy coming home to such a situation and the kids did not like the anticipation and anxiety of their punishment. Obviously, it was ‘punishment’ that the mom had in mind. Otherwise, she would have said, “When your father gets home, he is going to educate you on the proper way to behave.” That, too, would have been a scary prospect! It sounds like a fancy way of saying the same thing. It’s difficult to imagine how some fathers were feeling when they punished their child, not really understanding the situation, but supporting their spouse. What is even more difficult is the possibility a child being over-punished by an angry and tired father.
Today, these situations are usually handled differently. Typically, both mother and father work. The kids are at school or pre-school, if not at a grandparent's. I take my grandkids to pre-school two days a week. Not once have their teachers said to me, ‘do you know what Ryan (or Rosie) did today?” with a look of disgust on their faces. I don’t assume my grandkids are angels, so the teachers must handle behavioral situations themselves, with a possible mention or summary at the parent-teacher conference.
I think the way schools handle misbehavior, especially in pre-schools, is to correct behavior, not to punish. Young children are learning and don’t have the capacity, as yet, to share, or have certain skills, or be kind to everyone. They need to be shown the way, given rules, and encouraged to obey them. As they get older, correction may evolve into slightly more punishment when known, understood rules are broken.
It’s important for a father (and mother) to know when to correct and when to punish. When a father does this with thought and insight, he is truly a dad and not just an enforcer. When any doubts exist, correction, tutelage, and further observance is a much better path to take.
Punishment corrects through fear, not through understanding, and is not very effective. A father is not committed to his child if he only chooses to punish. Understanding is the key element in improving performance and behavior. Dads know this!