Sometimes, country music has a way of making you feel things you didn’t even know you could. One of the best themes that show up in the genre a lot is growing up, much of the time coming from the perspective of a parent watching their child get older.
In this article, we’ll go over the 21 best country songs out there that discuss growing up, getting older, and watching your kids mature.
1. Letter To Me – Brad Paisley
A big part of growing up is reflecting on your younger self, the decisions you made, and how you would do things differently now that you know more. Letter To Me wasn’t just a very successful song for Brad Paisley, it was a literal letter to his younger self as he reflected on what he wished he knew back in his youth.
All the things he went through from bonfire parties to breakups get included in the track, making for a hit single that tugs at your heartstrings.
2. You’re Gonna Miss This – Trace Adkins
In that same vein, You’re Gonna Miss This takes on the parental perspective, looking at their child growing up and getting started with their life. When you’re growing up, you’re in such a hurry to make it to the next milestone as you search for the point where you actually feel like an adult and you’ve “made it.”
It’s an important reminder to take things slow and enjoy the ride, because one day, you’re going to look back and wish you could do it all over again.
3. The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
Everyone is a collection of memories and experiences that accumulate as you go through life. Those are the things that shape who you are, whether that’s for the best or not. Miranda Lambert takes a minute to go back to her childhood home and reminisce on her time growing up in The House That Built Me, one of the few songs she produced that she didn’t write but also one of her most successful singles of all time.
4. Check Yes Or No – George Strait
Check Yes Or No is literally all about growing up alongside the love of your life. From childhood friends and crushes to marriage and growing old together. The song follows a couple from their grade school years, discussing how they’ve changed over time but the one constant in their lives has been their love.
5. Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney
Another common theme in country music is remembering to take things slow because time passes by very quickly. Don’t Blink is another one of those songs meant to remind you to slow down. Being a kid is great, but in the blink of an eye, your childhood will be gone. On top of that, this one is a great way to put your priorities in perspective and make sure those close to you know how important they are to you.
6. Boy – Lee Brice
As an adult, the days can go by very fast. This gets even more apparent when you blink and see your child growing faster than you can even comprehend. Boy by Lee Brice is the artist’s own reflection as he looks at his son. He sees him growing up, getting a taste of life, and making his own way in the world.
Recommended: Playlist of songs about sons
7. Then They Do – Trace Adkins
Growing up doesn’t just affect the kid that finally reaches adulthood, it’s an entire change of life for the parent. Trace Adkins nails this feeling in Then They Do, a song that’s easily relatable for parents at their wit’s end that wishes their children would grow up already. Just remember, they will grow up and you’ll miss the days when your kids were still kids.
8. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus
There are a lot of country songs out there that hold a special place in the artist’s heart or the hearts of their fans, but this one has a little something extra to it. Ready, Set, Don’t Go by Billy Ray Cyrus was a duet he did with his daughter Miley Cyrus back in 2008 that was all about watching her grow up and how it made them both feel. It’s definitely a tearjerker for parents with kids that are almost grown up.
9. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
My Little Girl was Tim McGraw’s tribute to his daughter, discussing all the emotions he felt when he held her as a baby and touching on several different points in her life as she grew up. While it may make a parent cry, it’s not a sad song.
Instead, it’s meant to encourage his daughter to chase her dreams and tell her that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to.
10. It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker
If you ever needed a reminder that children change your life, this is it. It Won’t Be Like This For Long touches on how much a kid changes a parent’s life and how fleeting the experience of them being kids actually is. The main message of the song is to just enjoy the ride while you can because it’ll be over faster than you think.
11. Life’s A Dance – John Michael Montgomery
John Michael Montgomery talks about the experience of growing up and recognizing that all your experiences have given you new ways to look at things and let you know what to do next time. Time passes fast, but don’t let that scare you, enjoy it and learn from your mistakes as you grow up.
12. Drive (for Daddy Gene) – Alan Jackson
Drive (For Daddy Gene) by Alan Jackson is all about his formative years, driving different vehicles around with his dad, and his reflection on how meaningful those memories are to him now that he’s a father as well.
13. Just Fishin’ – Trace Adkins
Just Fishin’ is one of those songs that perfectly juxtaposes the way parents and kids look at things differently. In the track, he’s on a fishing trip with his daughter. While to her it’s just a fishing trip, he knows it’s a big deal and something she’s going to remember as she grows up. That quality time together is exactly what the two of them need and paints a very pretty picture of their relationship.
14. He Didn’t Have To Be – Brad Paisley
Being a real parent is more than just having a kid out there somewhere. Brad Paisley discusses how his stepfather made a huge impact on his life, stepping up as a parent when he was a child and becoming a very important figure for him. By the end of the track, he’s having his own children and hoping he can live up to what a great father his stepfather was, bringing the whole song full circle.
15. Time Marches On – Tracy Lawrence
From a young couple to becoming a grandparent and your kids being grown, Time Marches On details how everything is constantly changing and time doesn’t stop for anyone. All you can do is grow and try to enjoy the small moments you get with your family.
16. In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina McBride
Sometimes, a song about growing up is about the parent growing up instead of the kid. In My Daughter’s Eyes is less about Martina McBride’s daughter growing up and more about how her daughter has changed her life and what she sees of herself in the girl.
17. I Loved Her First – Heartland
Perhaps the biggest moment of your kid growing up is watching them get married to someone else. I Loved Her First discusses watching his daughter grow up, get married, and go off on her own, all of the biggest moments of a parent’s life. It’s sort of a reminder that even though she’s getting married, he loved her first and is always going to be there for her.
18. Baby Girl – Sugarland
At some point, everyone leaves home to chase some dream. Stardom isn’t the right path for everyone, but the girl in this song makes it there anyway. No matter where she goes or how much she grows, she still thinks of herself as her parents’ baby girl, a sentiment that a lot of people can get behind when they think of the way their parents look at them.
19. He Gets That From Me – Reba McEntire
Growing up is hard sometimes, especially if one of your parents isn’t around or involved. He Gets That From Me was Reba McEntire describing all the things her son got from her and his father while also talking about how things have been hard on him as she watched him mature into a man with all of their best traits.
20. Tough Little Boys – Gary Allan
Tough Little Boys is a very honest description of how men change as they grow up. Most boys aren’t going to cry when they get hurt while young but watching their own children grow up turns them into blubbering messes. Not only is it about a tough little boy growing up, but it’s also about that guy’s children growing up, and it’s beautiful.
21. All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood
All-American Girl was a touching ballad by Carrie Underwood that detailed the story of a young father and the daughter he found himself taking care of. It’s all about watching her grow up and flourish, completely consuming his life in the process and becoming the absolute most important thing to him.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.