Mike and all,
I just looked at the Fred Rogers information. There is some good things there. Thank you for the resource. I found a very helpful downloadable sheet called “When someone your child loves dies” I looks very good, easy to understand and only two pages so short. I think that is something to consider when giving parents resources – they need to be easy to use, read and not long. The parents are grieving too and that will affect their ability to process any information we give them.
I approach working with families in talking with their children in a very similar way. I had not thought about asking more specifically the parents to share how children respond to certain situations or about the relationship with the person who died. Those are excellent questions that can help parents discern the most helpful path forward in terms of saying good bye with the children.
You make a good point about how helpful just having a child draw a picture and tell you about it can be. I think this approach also might help provide insights into cultural (both ethnic and family culture) influences that may be there already from how the child is being raised. Because I am not an analyst or expert in art therapy this model of having them draw and then tell me about it seems much more accessible. It also strikes me as something parents can do with their children at home as well.