Yes, you can say that.
- For Teachers
I scolded my father for beating my mother.
Is 'scolded' correctly used?
Yes, you can say that.
I'm sorry, but there is nothing natural about that. A man beating his wife is a horrible thing and well beyond something you are "scolded" about. You are scolded for not turning in your homework on time or forgetting to take the trash out in time for trash day. "Gee, Dad, you really shouldn't have broken Mom's ribs, given her that black eye, and split her lip" just doesn't cut it. "You are a disgusting and foul human being who takes out your aggressions on someone physicially weaker than you and I'm calling the police now to put your sorry ass in jail" might be right, but that's hardly a "scolding"!
Note the word comes from the Icelandic skālda, which means:
Last edited by svartnik; 18-Jul-2009 at 05:09.
But, as we see in every culture, sometimes the kids do indeed criticize, berate or talk back to the parents, even scolding them. So, you can say it, because it is not inherently incorrect, in the way this is: "I have always tried to raise my parents with good manners". That is an impossibility, but scolding parents is not.
If you would like a more natural example of a daughter scolding her father - let us pretend that the father has been told by his doctor that he needs to eat less fattening food and reduce the amount of salt. Now, his teenage daughter comes home to find her father eating a super-size serving of fast food French fries.
"Dad! I can't believe you're eating those! Remember what the doctor said. We need you to eat more healthful food, not those fries!"
In my culture, acceptable forms of "scolding" by children for their parents come when the children are old enough to be aware of what good decisions are, and when it's in the parent's best interest, as the example above.
If a six-year old child "scolds" his mother for not giving him what he wants for breakfast, that's called "being a brat" and I would find it utterly unacceptable.
I had a serious discussion with my father for beating my mother.
I made it very clear to my father that beating my mother is unacceptable.
I informed my father that I will not stand for him beating my mother again.
These might be better suited, so use the scolding in a sentence with a child's behavior.
Well of course, I agree a scolding sounds rather light for the crime of beating a family member, but I felt Elaine's question was hypothetical, and was intended to elicit whether scolding, by a child toward a parent, was inherently incorrect, which I feel it is not. Clearly no one has been beating anyone, among us, and we're merely talking about the verb "scold" as it relates to the inverted child-parent context.