18 Best Songs About Kids Growing Up

Live every day like it’s your last because life comes at you quickly.

At some point, you were just ten years old, having fun with your favorite toys, watching your favorite cartoons, and playing outside with your pals.

It still feels like yesterday.

But today, you woke up in your late 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s, thinking back on those precious childhood memories.

The journey from childhood to adulthood is a remarkable passage, marked by a myriad of emotions, experiences, and memories.

And as we reminisce over those memories, the songs that accompany us often serve as a significant landmark in our lives.

It captures the very essence of our growth, the nostalgia of our past, and the anticipation of our future.

These songs create a certain flow of emotions that make you feel nostalgic and take you back to simpler times. Good music is therapeutic for the soul.

That said, join us in this melodic journey through the best 18 songs about kids growing up, exploring the emotions, reflections, and shared experiences that make these songs resonate with people of all ages.

So, whether you’re a parent watching your children take their first steps or an individual reminiscing about your journey, these songs will surely strike a chord and inspire reflections on the ever-evolving tapestry of life.

Top 18 Best Songs About Kids Growing Up

Songs About Kids Growing Up
Image Source: iStockphoto/Jason Doiy

1. 7 Years – Lucas Graham

With this fond look back at the past, Lukas Graham converted the life counsel his parents provided him as a child into his means of support.

Graham conveys the information his family taught him through his songs’ brilliant lyrics as he went through childhood and eventually became a man.

Graham started to wonder what the future held for him after he reached his thirties and realized that his youth’s glory years were in the past.

The outcome of that process is the catchy music.

2. Seasons Of Love – The Cast Of Rent

Anyone who has heard a Broadway song instinctively recognizes the lyrics from the opening piano riffs.

The middle of Jonathan Larson’s well-known show served as the inspiration for this great hit.

The song started to symbolize how individuals live their lives by doing loving deeds.

This song has defined generations of children transitioning into adulthood despite being composed for a Broadway production focused on the AIDS crisis.

They are motivated to live intentionally and, above all, with love by the songs.

3. I Dont Know My Name – Grace Vanderwaal

Children frequently feel that they are still figuring out who they are as adults, making growing up a confusing period.

In “I Don’t Know My Name,” VanderWaal confronts these emotions by explaining the process of being herself: cutting her hair, changing her clothes, meeting new friends, and changing her activities.

“I now know my name,” she shouts triumphantly in the song’s closing chorus, proving it was all worthwhile.

4. Seventeen – Alessia Cara

In this joyful song, Cara shares advice that her parents have taught her.

When her parents warn her that one day she’ll be upset about how rapidly time flies, she recalls how much she wanted to be seventeen as a small girl and brushes them off.

She sings, “Now I wish I could freeze the time at seventeen.”

5. Ribs – Lorde

Lorde laments on “Ribs” that “getting older feels so scary.” pondering the teenage years since she fears she will never be able to reproduce them.

She becomes frustrated with the maturing process each year that goes by and wonders when she’ll be able to go back to “laughing ’til our ribs get tough.”

6. The Circle Game – Joni Mitchelle

In this soothing lullaby, Mitchell sings about the passing of the years.

She paints a picture of a young boy driving his automobile through the tone after sobbing and chasing dragonflies and other insects.

Mitchell refers to this constant forward motion as “the circle game.” She discusses how we must keep circling “on the carousel of time.”

Even though the youngster still has a lot of growing up by the time he is twenty, many of his dreams have not come true as he had hoped.

7. Cats In The Cradle- Harry Chapin

This moving song by Harry Chapin has a straightforward message: Spend time with your children before they grow up.

Chapin paints a picture of a broken-down father-son bond as the youngster tries to pry his father away from his profession.

The two drift apart due to the lack of quality time spent together as the child matures, until eventually, the son values work more than time spent with his father.

Harry’s wife Sandy’s poem “Cat’s In The Cradle” inspired the song.

At his performances, Chapin loved to make fun of the poem, saying it was written to “zap” him for missing the birth of his son.

8. Catch Me In The Air – Rina Sawayama

In this lively rock-pop song, Sawayama talks about her relationship with her mother.

She paints a picture of her mother, who is about to give birth and is unsure if the world is ready for her daughter.

Sawayama appreciates the start, love, and chance her mother gave her, even though the two have occasionally disagreed over the years.

She sings, “Mama, look at me now, I’m flying.”

9. Make You Proud – Jensen McRae

“This is the year you go hungry for the first time,” declares McRae.

She promises the younger version of herself that if she can hang in there and care for her mental health, things will improve as she ages.

She begs him, “Don’t hurt yourself; give me a chance to make you proud.”

She promises her younger self that everything will be alright as she describes everything that will happen to her as she matures, including heartbreak, mental health difficulties, and accepting herself for who she is.

10. Tend the Garden – Gang Of Youth

In an effort to make sense of the truths he discovered following his father’s passing, lead vocalist David Le’aupepe adopts his late father’s voice.

In “Tend the Garden,” David’s father watches his children develop while contemplating the other kids he has fathered, sons he will never reveal to his family.

After his father had passed away, Le’aupepe only learned that he had brothers.

Le’aupepe sings, “My youngest child, he won’t shut his mouth; it won’t be long before the truth gets out.” He is, of course, singing about himself as a child.

11. Slipping Through My Fingers – ABBA

Every parent eventually comes to the realization that their children won’t be so small anymore, as expressed in the well-known ABBA song.

The song was inspired by Bjorn Ulvaeus’ experience of seeing his daughter Linda, then age 7, leave for school.

That particular scenario is alluded to in the opening verse’s lyrics: “Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning, waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile.”

When helping her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) get ready to walk down the aisle, Donna (Meryl Streep) sings the song from Mamma Mia.

12. Small Bump – Ed Sheeran

In “Small Bump,” Sheeran sings about all the potential outcomes of pregnancy.

The song’s main character considers how he will raise the child and what it will be like to watch it grow while he watches his child’s mother develop.

He sings, “If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you.” 

The song’s melancholy twist is that the protagonist will never actually get to watch his child grow up because the pregnancy ends suddenly before the baby can be born.

About a friend of Sheeran’s who tragically lost a baby five months into their pregnancy, “Small Bump” was penned.

Sheeran is shown sitting in a hospital waiting room in the music video, shot in a single take.

13. Never Grow Up – Taylor Swift

Swift’s tender lullaby saves young children’s innocence and ensures that life is nice to them.

She sings, “Won’t let anybody hurt you, won’t let anybody break your heart.”

Swift muses on her own adolescent years as the song progresses, asking the 14-year-old version of herself to put spending time with her mother above trying to fit in with her friends.

Swift is eventually seen in her childhood bedroom getting ready to move into a new apartment in a big city by herself.

She laments, “I wish I’d never grown up,” in a sad song.

14. Dont Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

Whistling is enjoyable, and this timeless Bobby McFerrin melody is one of the greatest for practicing.

Although many first hear it when they are young, whether on the radio or in elementary school music class, the song is worth listening to again at all stages of life.

Every stressed-out listener will turn their frown upside down when they hear McFerrin’s enchanting vocals and upbeat music.

Additionally, the song conveys the lovely message of choosing happiness over anxiety.

15. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

It does not have to be a horror to grow up. This song offers a fun perspective on all the breathtaking beauty the planet has to offer.

As kids age, Louis Armstrong’s timeless masterpiece keeps illuminating their lives.

The song’s lyrics are a tender expression of love that encourages listeners to take in all the subtle facets of the planet Earth’s beauty.

Even though life isn’t always ideal, this song’s straightforward words give listeners reason for optimism.

16. This Ones For The Girls – Martina McBride

Martina McBride was well aware of the difficulties of maturing into a lady.

She knew every girl and woman needed an anthem to get them through the process.

The outcome was this massive country hit about maturing.

Its strongest feature is the song’s relevance to women of all ages, rather than just those transitioning into adulthood.

Although this list primarily focuses on children growing up, adults should also remember that it’s normal to continue to go through growing pains as they go through life.

17. My Wish – Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts, another addition to any graduation slideshow, expresses what every parent hopes for their children as they mature.

There is something distinctive about the band’s verbal delivery. The listener clearly feels the song’s message of love and hope.

Any proud parent who watches their children grow up will be moved to tears by the poignant song lyrics regarding their child’s development.

18. Grandpa Told Me So – Kenny Chesney

Not always do our parents significantly influence our lives while we are young. Grandparents also impart essential knowledge on how to live a worthwhile life.

Kenny Chesney, a well-known country singer, takes an emotional look back at the depth of knowledge he gathered from his grandfather’s experiences as a child.

In the words of this country ballad about growing up, Chesney describes the influence that was made on his life.


Music can help us relive those experiences and connect to our younger selves. 

So, listen to all the songs on our list, stick to the ones that best resonate with your experience, and share your thoughts about them in the comment section.

Recent Articles

Related Stories