How can you possibly talk to your 13-year-old godson, whose mum was born on a Kibbutz in Israel, about Palestine just after taking pictures of him excitedly eating his first sushi?

He is the one who asks and during the conversation he responds more soberly, more rationally than most adults I've had conversations with recently. I tell him it's extremely complicated. There are people being hurt on both sides.

In fact, I have my own quite strong feelings about the current conflict but I try to keep things simple and balanced. He nods thoughtfully and then we go back to chatting, he tells me he wants to travel to Tokyo, says he’d like to design trainers, tries mochi for the first time, "Weird but good".

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On the way home from that dinner, my own little boy, a toddler pelting about in his new bright red winter coat, runs through a damp, grey underpass with an encampment of homeless people in tents.

Recently, Suella Braverman (don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out, love) proposed to make it illegal for charities to hand out tents to the homeless. The sight of these tents, especially in recent weather, is always jarring, always heartbreaking.

Every time I walk past I reason what I might do. Could I bring them some food or drink or simply give them some money? Could I encourage the marina we live in to let them come and use the communal hot showers and laundry? But now, my little boy stops running circles around me and screeching a song called Go Bananas and asks, pointing to a tent shivering in the freezing wind, "What’s that?".

I have to try and work out how I can explain to him that those people live in tents because they have nowhere else to go. He's only three. How can I explain that they live in a tent because they were just born unlucky or bad things happened to them or they just found it impossible to cope?

I do think it’s important to talk to our children about the hard things. I once read that one of the main purposes of having pets is to teach your child about death. That, ultimately, they have to be able to process these things to feel safe and remain well-adjusted in adulthood.

Indeed, the American Psychological Association says that talking about events that are scary can help children feel protected and informed, stating that "taking a proactive stance, discussing difficult events in age-appropriate language can help a child feel safer and more secure."

The Herald: The war in GazaThe war in Gaza (Image: free)

The Mental Health Foundation of the UK agrees, saying that implementing a ‘news blackout’ means "Children are very likely to get a sense of the uncertainty or fear around what's going on, even if they’re not old enough to understand or hear about exactly what’s happening"

They add: "This can pique their interest to find out what’s really going on – and that is when their imagination can take over."

I think of the way I would teach my little boy how to do anything he hadn’t encountered before. Breaking down tasks into small pieces with simple words. For instance, how to wash his hands: stand up at the tap, turn on the tap, make sure the water isn't too hot, use the soap, rub, rinse, dry.

I try as much as I can to break down these huge world events into these tiny pieces. Simple enough for a three year old’s cognitive abilities. So I tell him, "Those people don't have a lot of money. So they live in tents. But maybe one day, something called a charity will come and help and they'll have somewhere to live. It's not a very nice way of living and they might be sad so we should always be kind and remember we're very lucky to live somewhere warm and comfy."

Is this the best thing? I don't know. But I do know that this is a middle ground. When I was growing up, I was my mother's only confidant and best friend. I was allowed to stay up as late as she did, watch any sort of TV, including the six o'clock news every night, watching atrocities fleeting across the screen while I played with my Barbies.

I learned about everything in the world far too early to the point that I was precociously arguing about the Iran-Iraq war with my primary school teacher. I don’t want that for my son: a child old before their years and carrying the literal weight of the world on his shoulders. I want him to feel safe but also to understand that as joyful as life can be it can be hard for others so he can recognise with gratitude what he has and to approach people with decency and gentleness because bad things can and do happen to most of us at some point.

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Later that week on a busy train home my husband, my son and I are offered seats by four men wearing baseball hats emblazoned with the word, Gaza.

They’ve obviously just returned from the demonstration of over 800,000 people in London demanding a ceasefire. I smile at them, my wee boy waves, one of them wears a Palestinian flag draped over their shoulders.

The inevitable question comes, "What is it?" I tell my little boy the man has been marching with his friends and lots and lots of other people who all want to be heard. If they come together their voices are louder so maybe people will finally hear. They do it because when people think something is important, they try to change things.

I don't know how much goes in one ear and out the other because soon enough he is asking for a rice cake and singing Go Bananas but I hope that in breaking it down for him, I’m raising a future adult who’ll always ask "What is it?" "Why is it?" "What can I do?"