Boys also are more impulsive than girls and language is not their natural problem-solving medium. Trying to persuade your son to “use words” when he’s angry is a laudable effort, to be sure, but you’re not likely to see much success with this approach for another year or two … or three. This is another example of women expecting boys to be more like girls. As you’ve discovered, boys respond to concrete consequences. At much earlier ages, girls respond to words and are more successful at using them in social negotiations.
Your “Five Strikes, You’re Out” plan is pretty much along the lines of the approach I generally recommend in situations of this sort. I would only add in 10 minutes of time-out when one of the target misbehaviors occurs. Taking him out of the group for that period of time will give him an opportunity to calm down and “reset.” It will also strengthen the “Don’t” message. And, yes, if he bites, his teachers should remove him from the group, call you and keep him isolated until you arrive to take him home. In the final analysis, the success of this plan hinges on everyone keeping their cool and cutting him no slack.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at www.rosemond.com.