Well, hopefully someday I can learn to be a 'real' instructor and learn how to be a mentor.
I admit that I've never been a civilian pilot mill CFI, but my comment had nothing to do with differentiating between avenues of learning/instructing (141 vs 61, or even ab initio or military). It had everything to do with what our role is as flying instructors, and what our roles are not.
People who want to learn to fly need to have a significant level of self-motivation. I did not go snatch them up off their couch and force them to learn to fly -- it is they who decided they wanted to do it, and it is their time and money that is paying for the training. My role is to be the most skilled, knowledgeable, and professional aviator and instructor that I can be, and to use every tool that I can to teach them.
Mentorship is, indeed, an important aspect of teaching and raising young pilots. This issue that the OP mentions is IMHO outside the realm of even a mentor. If students don't have enough personal motivation to wake up for an early scheduled flight, then that is an issue with personal responsibility and just being an adult, and does NOT have anything to do with aviation.
In the military, I'm not only an instructor pilot but I am also a senior officer. In the military, we 'own' our junior officer students, and have law that states they have to be certain places at certain times, meet certain standards of appearance, behavior, etiquette, etc. In this circumstance, it definitely IS my job to deal with issues like this outside of the cockpit and outside of the aviation learning environment. If it were 2Lts in my training program that were unable to show up for early flights, or even be 'motivated' to fly those flights, then there are multiple levels of issues I would be happy to help them deal with, both legal and otherwise. The vast majority of military student pilots, however, are self-motivated, and gladly jump through whatever hoops they need to in order to learn for fly for the military. Those that don't are shown the door, possibly even to the military all together.
A civilian flight training student is just that -- a flight training student. I don't "owe" them anything beyond the door on the way out to their car after the lesson.
That being said, I'm extremely willing (and usually pretty excited) to go well beyond the hangar doors to assist and mentor if a student asks
. I will give as much instruction, mentorship, assistance that I can (always off the clock) to someone who wants
to learn -- but the motivation has to be their own. I have spent countless hours 'off the clock' with students who were interested in learning about all sorts of things, even outside the realm of flying (personal finance, education...all kinds of topics), but I won't light a fire under your butt to do it. That student has to want it on their own.
Learning is a 2-way street. This is not a public school where they are required to be by law, nor am I their servant -- they have to bring motivation and enthusiasm to learn to the table (and maturity and responsibility), and I'll bring wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm to teach them.
So, sorry -- I just don't buy it. If a student doesn't want to learn to fly enough to wake their sleepy asses up and be bright eyed for a flying lesson at 8 am, then they're just not mature enough for me as an instructor to be motivated to help them