Our favorite TV judge, the legendary and honorable Judge Greg Mathis, Sr. and his family are ready to share their unfiltered lives with the world. The Judge might rule the courtroom, but at home he is just focused on being a great dad. Judge Mathis, his wife Linda, and their four grown children–Jade Mathis, Camara Mathis Webb, Greg Mathis, Jr., and Amir Mathis–are starring in “Mathis Family Matters”, a new show which gives a rare look into their off-the-wall dynamics, careers, relationships, deep family bond, and perseverance through hard times.
While Judge Mathis has had great success helping others, but when it comes to his family, his opinions and being an “expert on everything” sometimes falls flat as he helps to guide his children through adulthood. Linda, the matriarch of the family, has a fabulous quick wit personality and since this is the first time the family has been under one roof in long time, it’s her mission to keep everyone together through the ups and downs.Overall, the Mathis crew is ready to shake things up with fun, big laughs and family love at the core.
In conversation with Ebony, Judge Mathis and Linda open up about their new family docu-series which premiers on Sunday, June 19 on the E! Entertainment network.
EBONY: Was it a difficult decision for your family to share your home life with the world?
Judge Mathis and Linda Mathis: It was a tough decision for my family to do a reality tv show, and it did take some convincing from my son Amir – who is the Executive Producer and brains behind Mathis Family Matters. We all know how harsh public opinion can be, but we really felt this was a unique opportunity to show a black family in a positive light.
Our family is not perfect by any means, but we are family that has a lot of fun together and are all very passionate about our careers and giving back. We also stick together, support each other and work through life challenges together when things get tough.
We view this show as a special opportunity to shift the narrative on Black families and to show America what they haven’t always seen when it comes to Black families on television.
June is all about celebrating fatherhood, Judge Mathis what is your advice for fathers looking to connect with or better understand their kids?
Well, you know. – like many of our Black brothers – I didn’t grow up with a father in my household. As a father to two young men and mentor to many others – my best advice to fathers is to always meet people at their level before trying to give them advice. You have to be relatable and understand what motivates them.
You can’t give a street youth that grew up in a single parent household the same advice you would give a suburban kid that has a drastically different upbringing. My goal has always been to first find out about the person I’m talking to and then meet them at their level with advice and guidance that’s relatable to them.
So, fathers – get to know your sons, spend time with them and find out what they like and who they really are. Once you’ve done that, I believe it will be easier for you to connect on a higher level.
We’re used to see Judge Mathis as the no-nonsense yet empathetic adjudicator in the courtroom. Is this similar to your parenting style?
You know – I try and be the tough Judge at home, but the truth is I’m constantly being overruled by my family and have absolutely no authority. As you’ll see on Mathis Family Matters – my family makes nonstop fun of me for my unsolicited advice and treat me like a complete chump.
Now, when the children were younger, I was probably more of the disciplinarian than my wife Linda. I would be the one to law down the law with stricter punishments and Linda would often balance my sentencings by giving the kids a break. It worked well.
Now that our kids are all adults – they have to make their own choices and all we can do is sit back and watch. And when it comes to our grandkids – as any good grandparent knows – there are absolutely no rules and Linda and I let them get away with whatever they want!
Linda, what do you enjoy most about all your kids (and grandkids!) coming home and how do you maintain that family bond when you all are so busy?
Our family is very close-knit and so finally having all of our children and grandchildren living in the same city is a dream come true. During the COVID-19 pandemic when it became difficult to travel – I think it really dawned on my family how much we missed each other and sometimes took our closeness for granted. Now it’s much easier to stay connected.
My favorite part of having everyone home is that everyone can come over for our regular Sunday dinners! Outside of that our family maintains our closeness with regular family trips – including our annual Christmas vacation – and honestly just spending a ton of time together. We share almost everything with one another and no one in our family really has a filter when it comes to what they say. There’s always fun and excitement when we get together.
The show will touch on some heavier moments and go deep into your children’s personal lives. How important was it to your family to be transparent with viewers?
You’re going to see a lot of fun moments, smiles, and laughter on Mathis Family Matters, because that’s genuinely who our family is. At the same time – you’ll learn quickly that this family doesn’t shy away from important conversations.
I really believe that the topics and challenges you’ll see on our show exist in almost every Black family. It’s my hope that when seeing our family – viewers can take away something impactful. I hope that what they see in our family matters to them and makes a difference in their lives.
As a family of successful Black professionals – we felt it was very important to be transparent with viewers. Not just the fun and lighthearted moments, but also showcasing our service to community, our commitment to fighting bigotry in all forms and some the challenges we work through as a family. I’m hoping that the heavier topics we cover on the show will help other people work through difficult times in their lives as well.
As attentive parents, how do you find time to carve out time for just you two, your marriage, and maintaining your own sense of wellness?
One thing Linda and I love is escaping to the beach – or really any place with a beautiful calm view of the water. We take a lot of trips to our beach house and will really just camp out there for days – making time for each other with the peaceful ocean helping us relax even more. Linda is also a fantastic cook and so when I come home from filming or a super busy stretch of work -enjoying one of her homecooked meals together helps us both recenter and reconnect with each other.