Every parent feels conflicted.
You want your kids to grow up and be successful.
But you also don’t.
You also wish time could slow down and your child could stay a child for much longer.
That’s why so many beautiful songs about kids growing up make our eyes water.
They can even make those who aren’t parents shed a few tears.
Keep reading for a list of the 14 greatest songs about children growing up far too quickly. I bet you can’t make it to the end of the page without reaching for a tissue, if you listen to even just a few of these songs.
Songs About Kids Growing Up
I did my best to include a large variety of music in this list. Including songs about children growing up from as many different genres as possible ensures that everyone can discover at least a few songs they love on this page.
My Little Girl by Tim McGraw
Country star McGraw recorded My Little Girl in 2006 for his album Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Volume 2. The track was also included in the movie Flicka, which is based on the relationship between a dad and his daughter.
This beautiful song about kids growing up reached the third spot on the Billboard Hot Country Chart.
Tim McGraw is believed to have written the song for any one of his three daughters. The lyrics describe how he has been smitten by each of them since the day she was born.
The lyrics also talk about the baby wrapping him around her little finger. Like every father, he wants his girl to reach for the stars and take on the whole world, but he always wants her to know that she will always have a home to come back to.
My Little Girl is an emotional song that is sure to bring tears to your eyes, especially if you have a daughter. It is also a wonderful song to play for the father-daughter wedding dance.
Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman
Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman is another tear-jerker about kids growing up. The track is included in her 2015 album The Unmaking.
Every mother teaches her child to crawl and walk, and soon, the child no longer needs to hold her hand.
The singer wants the little one to slow down, as she wishes that this beautiful phase would last forever and that her baby wouldn’t grow up so fast. The lyrics convey what every parent feels: they all want their children to reach for the stars but they also want time to slow down.
Forever Now by Michael Bublé
The emotional video of Michael Bublé’s song Forever Now shows a child’s bedroom and its transformation from a baby’s nursery to that of a young adult leaving home for college. It is sure to hit you square in the heart, whether you are a parent or not.
The lyrics of Forever Now describe how the singer feels that his child was just born yesterday and now it is already time for them to leave home. Every week just goes by faster and faster than the previous one, making the singer wish that he could slow down time.
He also tells his children that he will always be there for them, no matter what. As a father, they can always count on him and he will always believe in them. The talented Canadian singer released Forever Now in March 2019 for his 8th studio album Love.
Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift
Never Grow Up is a beautiful lullaby by Taylor Swift, released in 2010 for her third album Speak Now. In the first verse, the lyrics of Never Grow Up describe a mother watching her baby sleep.
The baby dreams and smiles in its sleep and the mother does not want the magical moment to end. She says she would give anything if she could freeze this moment. She simply does not want her little one to grow up.
The next few verses describe what every child experiences as they grow up. They want to grow up, but at the same time, they are scared and confused.
Taylor mentioned in an interview that she wrote this song for all the seven to eight-year-old girls. She wanted to convey the message that they are all becoming who they are going to be and to watch their thoughts and feelings and everything will turn out okay.
If you’re a Taylor Swift fan, you might also enjoy our breakdown of the meaning of the Safe and Sound lyrics. That song fits the Hunger Games theme perfectly and really showcases Swift’s songwriting talent.
Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Ft. Ed Sheeran
Growing Up is a track from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s 2015 album The Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Ed Sheeran contributed the track’s chorus.
Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty, a Seattle-based rapper, wrote this as an ode to his unborn child when his fiancée was pregnant. The lyrics describe the singer’s fears that every dad-to-be experiences.
He advises his unborn child to read good books like The Alchemist and Raisin in the Sun while it is growing up. He also tells it to always be truthful, no matter what. And to be respectful to its mom.
The beautiful track conveys what every parent feels. No matter their child’s age, they will always worry about them and want them to know these pearls of wisdom.
Ready Set Don’t Go by Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus wrote this beautiful song when his daughter, Miley Cyrus, left home to star in Hannah Montana. The lyrics of Ready Set Go portray what every parent feels. They want their kids to grow up and succeed, but also never leave the nest, because they will miss them dearly.
Upon its release in 2007, the song went on to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40. Billy and Miley also performed this duet on the hit show Dancing With The Stars in October 2007.
They Grow Up Too Fast by Jimmy Charles
In They Grow Up Too Fast, Jimmy Charles conveys what every parent wishes: that they could have a replay or a rewind button to slow down time as their children grow older.
The lyrics of They Grow Up Too Fast start by describing the beautiful moment of the singer’s son’s birth and how he fell in love with him a billion times.
Later, as he watches the boy crawl, walk, ride a bike, go to school, and so on, he just wants time to stop so he can savor every moment. They Grow Up Too Fast became a super hit and was used in many reels, Facebook stories, and TikTok videos.
The Kids Are Growing Up by Jill Andrews
Jill Andrews wrote The Kids Are Growing Up as part of her album Thirties. The entire album is dedicated to Jill’s experiences raising a family.
In The Kids Are Growing Up, she wonders what she can do to slow down time. The clock seems to spin dizzily and her kids are growing up much faster than she wants them to. This is an emotional song that is sure to touch the hearts of parents all around the world.
After 17 by Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson wrote the track After 17 (from the 2010 album Freight Train) when his daughter turned 17 and left for college. He mentioned that he wanted this song to apply to “any parent whose child was leaving home.”
But it is specifically sung about a daughter growing up. Jackson said that his daughter was a confident young woman but when it was time for her to leave for college, he could see fear in her eyes.
Thus, a child growing up and leaving is not only tough for parent,s but equally tough for the child. In a sense, the kids are grown, but not grown.
Boy by Lee Brice
Boy is a conversation or a letter between a father and his son, who is growing up and about to leave home. The dad tells his son to treat people right and to be a man at the same time.
Boy is a single from Lee Brice’s self-titled album and was written by Nicolle Galyon and Jon Nite. Nicolle also included a slightly different version of this track on her 2022 solo album First Born.
Dear Jessie by Madonna
Madonna and Patrick Leonard co-wrote this song for Leonard’s daughter, Jessie. The duo worked together on many songs in the ’80s. In this gentle pop song, Madonna tells the girl, Jessie, to not grow up so fast.
She also wishes her well and asks her to “rub this special magic lantern that will bless her life with riches, health, and love.” The track became a hit in the UK, reaching #22. It was not released in the US.
Letter To The Past by Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile wrote this song when raising her two daughters. She describes how her daughters had some of the same emotional issues she also faced when she was growing up. The song is thus also advice she would like to give her younger self. The Grammy Award singer also describes how, in raising her daughters, she feels she is raising her inner child.
Memorial Day by Sharon Van Etten
In 2017, Sharon Van Etten became a mom for the first time. Memorial Day is a thoughtful song about her conversation with her young son.
Etten mentioned in an interview with Uncut magazine that the track was based on how she felt watching her son grow up and thinking about what the future holds for him.
The song also expresses her fears about raising her baby and the kind of parenting mistakes she anticipates making when her child is growing up.
My Wish by Rascal Flatts
Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson of Rascal Flatts penned this song for their 2006 album Me and My Gang. In a sense, this song is an ode to all the kids growing up in these troubled times. Steele also paid tribute to his daughter through this track, since she was about to graduate.
The lyrics talk about the singer wanting his daughter to understand that no matter what she does in life, there will always be someone thinking about her. Someone will always be there to support her, no matter what.
Songs About Children Growing Up Too Fast: Final Thoughts
Songs about children growing up too fast often convey a poignant message about the fleeting nature of childhood and the rapid passage of time.
These songs capture the bittersweet moments of watching children transition into adulthood, reflecting on the inevitable changes and the desire to hold onto precious moments. They serve as a reminder to cherish the innocence and wonder of childhood, while also highlighting the universal experience of seeing your children grow up much too quickly.
As mentioned, I tried to include songs about kids growing up from as many different genres as possible, but know that some genres are underrepresented, or missing entirely. So if you have an additional suggestions, I would love to hear them! Let me know in a comment below.