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120 Quotes About Growing Up Both Kids & Adults Should Read

120 Quotes About Growing Up Both Kids & Adults Should Read

Here are some truly eye-opening quotes about growing up to help you stay inspired and strong through the lifelong process of change and growth.

10 Best Quotes About Growing Up

1. “We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.” — Bernard Baruch

Image of a happy family representing the best quote about growing up.

2. “Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.” ― Virginia Woolf

3. “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” — Chinese Proverb

4. “Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.” — Chili Davis

5. “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” — Abraham Lincoln

Happy family representing the greatest quote about growing up.

6. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” — E.E. Cummings

7. “Growing up is hard, love. Otherwise, everyone would do it.” — Kim Harrison

8. “The trick is growing up without growing old.” — Casey Stengel

9. “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis

10. “That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.” — Walt Disney

Silhouettes of a woman, man, and child representing a quote on growing up.

See also: 120 Walt Disney Quotes To Dare You To Dream Big

Growing Up Quotes On Change & Transformation

1. “You know children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.” ― John J. Plomp

Family trio representing kids growing up quote.

2. “Don’t grow up too fast, darling. Age is inevitable, but if you nurture a childlike heart, you’ll never grow old.” — Beth Hoffman

3. “It was a sign of growing up when the dark made no more difference to you than the day.” — Roddy Doyle

4. “Let’s roll for justice, let’s roll for truth. Let’s not let our children grow up fearful in their youth.” — Neil Young

5. “Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.” — Tom Stoppard

Mom, dad and little one together representing a quote about maturity.

6. “That’s the worst of growing up, and I’m beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.” — L. M. Montgomery

7. “Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.” — Nicola Yoon

8. “Growing up, we are told many things; one being, you can do anything. But somewhere between child and adult, things change.” — Julie Hebert

9. “When we are children, we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” — Patrick Rothfuss

10. “Who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” — Harold Wilson

Image of a smiling family representing a quote about change and growth.

See also: 120 Ultimate Best Quotes About Progress To Fuel Your Growth

11. “Most folks think you start to be a real adult when you’re fifteen or sixteen years old, but that’s not true, it really starts when you’re around six. It’s at six that grown folks don’t think you’re a cute little kid anymore, they talk to you and expect that you understand everything they mean.” — Christopher Paul Curtis

12. “Now I’m growing and I can see my faults. I can look at myself objectively and say I can’t blame anyone else; it was my own damn fault.” — Christopher Atkins

Image of a joyful family representing a quote on growth.

13. “One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed.” ― Patricia Briggs

14. “Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them – a mother’s approval, a father’s nod – are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.” — Mitch Albom

15. “They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” — Confucius

Parents sharing happiness with their young child

16. “It was something adults said all the time. “You’ll change your mind when you’re older. You never know what might happen. You’ll feel differently one day.” As if we teenagers knew so little about ourselves that we could wake up one day a completely different person. As if the person we are right now doesn’t matter at all.” ― Alice Oseman

See also: 180 Inspirational Quotes For Teens To Strike Young Hearts

17. “Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.” — Nikki Giovanni

18. “I saw my earlier selves as different people, acquaintances I had outgrown. I wondered how I could ever have been some of them.” — Roger Zelazny

19. “You must pay the penalty of growing up. You must leave fairyland behind you.” — L.M. Montgomery

20. “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” — Henri Bergson

Parents beam joy with their small child.

See also: 200 Powerful Quotes About Transformation To Inspire Change

21. “A butterfly does not return to a caterpillar after it is mature. We must learn to grow and evolve into a stronger, wiser and better version of ourselves. Life occurs in stages and taking a step at a time is key to learning and growing.” ― Kemi Sogunle

22. “It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.” — Nicholas Sparks

23. “The years will rush by, and one day you will be watching your son as a man and feeling incredibly proud that he is caring, safe, making a contribution, and hopefully going far beyond you in the scope of his life.” — Steve Biddulph

24. “What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.” — Mignon McLaughlin

25. “Part of growing up is just taking what you learn from that and moving on and not taking it to heart.” — Beverley Mitchell

Image of a family in pure joy representig a quote about learning and growing.

See also: 110 Inspiring Moving On Quotes To Help You Forge Ahead

26. “Don’t grow old to give up and don’t give up growing up.” — Bernard Kelvin Clive

27. “I think that’s the moment when we all grow up, when we stop blaming our parents for the messes we’ve made out of our lives and start owning the consequences of our actions.” — Lisa Unger

28. “Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves… for growing up.” — The Wonder Years 

29. “I had a lot of growing up to do. A lot of times, I learned the hard way.” — Allen Iverson

30. “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different?” — C.S. Lewis

Love beams in family portrait.

See also: 80 Powerful Making A Difference Quotes To Inspire Change

Inspirational Quotes About Growing Up

1. “Children need models rather than critics.” — Joseph Joubert

Image of a grown son with older parents.

2. “We don’t have to look like everyone else, Tally, and act like everyone else. We’ve got a choice. We can grow up any way we want.” — Scott Westerfeld

3. “That’s one of the things we learn as we grow older, how to forgive. It comes easier at 40 than it did at 20.” — L.M. Montgomery

4. “Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up.” ― Jodi Picoult

5. “Cherish your children… for they are the footprints you will leave behind.” ― Taylor Evan Fulks

Portrait of a grown son with his aging parents.

6. “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates

7. “Doing all the little tricky things it takes to grow up, step by step, into an anxious and unsettling world.” — Sylvia Plath

8. “I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!” ― David Vitter

9. “When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing.” — Tom Robbins

10. “We have had a good time while we were young, but it is in the nature of Time to fly.” — T.H. White

A grown son shares a timeless connection with his aging parents.

See also: 120 How Time Flies Quotes To Seize Life’s Fleeting Beauty

11. “He realized that much of his torment of the years past had been self-inflicted, and an inevitable part of growing up.” — Thomas Wolfe

12. “Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I’ve decided, is only a slow sewing shut.” ― Jodi Picoult

13. “Growing old is unavoidable, but never growing up is possible. I believe you can retain certain things from your childhood if you protect them — certain traits, certain places where you don’t let the world go.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

14. “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” — Max Lerner

15. “If you didn’t grow up like I did then you don’t know, and if you don’t know it’s probably better you don’t judge.” ― Junot Díaz

Lifelong happiness is beautifully captured in the smiles of older parents and their grown son.

See also: 70 Wrongly Judged Quotes To Make You Stop Being Critical

16. “Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” ― Maya Angelou

17. “Relax. You will become an adult. You will figure out your career. You will find someone who loves you. You have a whole lifetime. Time takes time. The only way to fail at life is to abstain.” — Johanna de Silentio

18. “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” — Nina Dobrev

19. “Growing up is never straightforward. There are moments when everything is fine and other moments where you realize that there are certain memories that you’ll never get back and certain people that are going to change, and the hardest part is knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch them.” — Alden Nowlan

20. “At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” — Benjamin Franklin

Grown son shares joy with older, loving parents.

21. “Maturity begins when one lives for others.” — Hermann Hesse

22. “How do we deal with all the people we’ve been? What happens when we have to confront them?” ― Rachel Kapelke-Dale

23. “Maturity is when you live your life by your commitments, not by your feelings.” — Rick Warren

24. “To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.” — William Arthur Ward

25. “Growing up on a dairy farm, you certainly learn discipline and a commitment to purpose.” — Mike Johanns

Image of a joyful family trio representing a relatable quote about childhood.

See also: 150 Discipline Quotes To Unlock Your Potential And Success

26. “I’ve noticed that as I get older, time seems to fly by in hyper-speed. You blink, and a week has passed. blink again, and a year has gone by.” ― Elle Kennedy

27. “One of the strange things about adulthood is that you are your current self, but you are also all the selves you used to be, the ones you grew out of but can’t ever quite get rid of.” — John Green

28. “The journey of figuring out how to get the cookies from the cookie jar is more adventurous and exciting than your parents picking you up giving it to you. Meaning- Let me fall, let me fail and let me learn mom.” ― Jayden Codner

29. “Growing up is never easy. We think it happens when you reach a certain age, accomplish a goal, acquire a house, or reach a milestone, but it doesn’t stop.” ― Ranjani Rao

30. “If you find a way to enjoy being alone, you have won; No one can stop you from enjoying life to the fullest.” ― Pradip Bendkule

A family photo showcases the happiness of parents and their grown son.

See also: 100 Being Alone Quotes To Embrace The Beauty Of Solitude

Beautiful Quotes About Growing Up

1. “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” — C. S. Lewis

Grown hand reaches for child's representing a grown-up quote.

2. “As children, we don’t get to pick the ways in which we’re loved. But then we grow up, and if we’re smart and prepared and very determined, every once in a while we actually do get the life we wanted.” — Oprah Winfrey

3. “I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have hopes and fears and fidgets, without knowing why or being able to explain them.” — Louisa May Alcott

4. “Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…” ― Louisa May Alcott

5. “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” — George Bernard Shaw

Adult and child hands touch representing growing older quote.

6. “Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers; the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.” — The Wonder Years

7. “They’re all grown-ups now but I still have their sweet voices in my ear, the way they laughed and talked…it’s implanted in my memory…I love my kids so much.” — Emelina Fabian Frobel

8. “Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.” — Neil Gaiman

9. “It takes years to learn the difference between who to let go and who to be patient with. The same way it takes years to know what you deserve and what you don’t. So hang in there — growth and experience come with time.” — R.M. Drake

10. “Sometimes, You will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ― Dr. Seuss

Grown hand and child's hand unite in silhouette connection.

See also: 180 Unforgettable Memories Quotes About The Good Old Days

11. “Age is a necessary but insufficient requirement for growing up. There are immature old people, and there are appropriately mature young people.” — Henry Cloud and John Townsend

12. “I think I may have to grow up without growing old. I think we’re going to have to define differently what I’m going to be. We’re going to have to define my growing up differently.” — Mattie Stepanek

13. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” — J.D. Salinger

14. “Part of growing up was learning not to be quite that honest, learning when it was better to lie, rather than to hurt someone with the truth.” — Jodi Picoult

See also: 180 Greatest Honesty Quotes To Inspire Authentic Living

15. “When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” — Mark Twain

Grown-up reaches for child's hand in silhouette unity.

16. “I think, as you’re growing up, your emotions are just as deep as they are when you’re an adult. Your ability to feel lonely, longing, confused or angry are just as deep. We don’t feel things more as we get older.” — Spike Jonze

17. “Growing up is never easy. You hold onto things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been and look ahead to what would be – other days, new days, days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves for growing up.” — Kevin Arnold

18. “I know that in my past I was young and irresponsible – but that’s what growing up is. You learn from your mistakes.” — Lindsay Lohan

19. “Who we are, is what we believe. As you were growing up, you may have been told over and over that you were good at doing something. You believed it. Similarly, if you constantly tell people they are doing a good job, they will eventually believe it even if, in the beginning, they have doubts about their ability. In essence, we become what we believe.” — Catherine Pulsifer

20. “I am not young enough to know everything.” — Oscar Wilde

Adult hand meets child's hand tenderly.

See also: 100 Oscar Wilde Quotes For Every Point Of Your Life

21. “If your gonna screw up, do it while you’re young. Older you get, the harder it is to bounce back.” — Winston Groom

22. “If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!” — James M. Barrie

23. “We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.” — Bryan White

24. “One curious thing about growing up is that you don’t only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents’ and grandparents’ lives come to you.” — Philip Pullman

25. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” — Laozi

Connecting hands representing a quote about growth.

See also: 100 Growth Mindset Quotes For Those Who Want To Succeed

Growing Up Quotes For Parents

1. “To be able to watch your children’s children grow up is truly a blessing from above.” — Byron Pulsifer

Parent and child playfully connect.

2. “There are only 940 Saturdays between a child’s birth and her leaving for college.” ― Harley Rotbart

3. “Your son will always be your little boy and your daughters will always be your little girls!” — Felicisima Nietes De Jesus

4. “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” — Anne Frank

5. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” — Angela Schwindt 

Happy parent and child play joyfully together.

6. “When we give children advice or instant solutions, we deprive them of the experience that comes from wrestling with their own problems.” — Adele Faber

7. “If you’ve never been hated by your child, you’ve never been a parent.” ― Bette Davis

8. “I regret not having had more time with my kids when they were growing up.” ― Tina Turner

9. “The empty nest comes quickly. Do not squander your most precious privilege of participating in the lives of your children.” ― Alan Hedquist

See also: 70 Relatable Empty Nest Quotes To Comfort & Inspire You

10. “There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of perfect moments along the way.” ― Dave Willis

Parent and child share joy in playful moments.

11. “I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” ― C. JoyBell C.

12. “I wish I could go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” — Robert Rodriguez

13. “You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.” — P. J. O’Rourke

14. “I don’t want to miss the actual fabric of the interior of my life and the beautiful children growing up right this second in my own home because I’m working to please people somewhere out there. I’m afraid I’m missing it, I’m afraid I’m doing it wrong, and I want to know that I can change.” — Shauna Niequist

15. “Remember, the goal is not to raise great kids; it’s to raise kids who become great adults.” — Andy Andrews

Laughter fills the air as parent and child play.

16. “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” — Stacia Tauscher

17. “You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.” ― Polish Proverb

18. “Those little feet, won’t be little forever.” ― Ashlee Edens

19. “If you would have your son to walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path but teach him to walk firmly over them–not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.” — Anne Brontë

20. “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.” — John F. Kennedy

Parent-child joy representing a quote about son growing up.

See also: 120 Cool Boy Mom Quotes For All The Proud Moms Raising Boys

21. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” — Robert Brault

22. “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” — Phyllis Diller

23. “Only when you are grown up, perhaps only when you have children yourself, do you fully understand that your own parents had a full and intricate existence before you were born.” ― Ian McEwan

24. “I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have hopes and fears and fidgets, without knowing why or being able to explain them.” — Louisa May Alcott

25. “Motherhood is an early retirement position. Your children do grow up.” — Colleen Parro

In the midst of play, parent and child find happiness.

See also: 110 Funny Retirement Quotes That Will Always Be Cherished

To Conclude

I hope these quotes about growing up have reminded you that change, although occasionally unpleasant, is a beautiful thing.

120 Quotes About Growing Up Both Kids & Adults Should Read