Is it normal for a 2½-year-old to speak in the third person and if so, is there a way to correct this? Or will they just outgrow it?
Yes, some children do this, and they usually grow out of it and use the first person all too much! Seriously, think about what a challenge it is for a young child to learn how to use “I” correctly. We say, “Do you want some milk?” and expect the child to know the correct answer is “I want some milk.” Often we speak to toddlers in the third person ourselves. We say, “Does Jennifer want her milk now?” Obviously, the correct answer to that is “Yes, she does.”
How they ever get it straight is beyond me! At any rate, don’t worry about it. You’re a good observer of children, or you would never have noticed it. And good observers make good parents.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.