Just like his character, Adam, on NBC's Parenthood, the actor finds that being dad to real-life son Roman, 11, is a matter of trial and error.

By Patty Adams Martinez

Q. Parenthood has lots of die-hard fans. Why do you think they love the show?A. People can relate to it because we portray parents when they're successful and when they fail, which we all do.

Q. So how do you blow it with Roman?A. By yelling at him occasionally. Losing your patience and your temper isn't the most attractive thing, but as kids get older, you wind up raising your voice.

Q. Is it hard for him having to split his time between you and your ex-girlfriend?A. We have different parenting styles, but we make it work by supporting each other and keeping his best interests at heart. I also try to sit down and explain things to Roman rather than ordering him around. Kids deserve that. It only takes a minute and makes a world of difference.

Q. You're currently dating Lauren Graham, who plays your sister on-screen. How do you relax off the set?A. We're Scrabble addicts. In fact, I first invited her over to my place to play it 15 years ago—way before we started dating. We're very competitive. We play at home, on our iPhones and our iPads. I win more often, but don't tell her I said that.

Q. What's the one thing she'd most like to change about you?A. My clothes. She tries to make me over on a daily basis. I'll start walking out of the house and she'll say, "What are you wearing? You have five different patterns going on there!"

Q. Tell us a personal secret.A. I'm a science geek. I even have a T-shirt with a glow-in-the-dark chart of the periodic elements.

Q. Adam dances a lot on the show. How would he rate on Dancing With the Stars?A. Pretty low! But I think viewers enjoy how bad I am, so I don't mind putting it out there and looking like a maniac.

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.