“I walked into my 2-year-old’s room the other day while she was playing with her doll, previously known as ‘baby.’ As I was watching her, I overhead my daughter refer to the toy as Julia—which happens to be my name. Turns out, she renamed her doll and seems to really enjoy telling Julia what to do (‘Eat your peas, Julia!’). Should I be flattered or is this my toddler’s way of asserting control over me? What’s going on here?”
First of all, let’s relieve your concerns: You do not have any reason to be alarmed. In fact, your daughter’s behavior is developmentally very normal.