Poppy and Lao failed to recognize what was best for Toph and believed her blindness was a handicap that made her weak and fragile. Due to this fear, Poppy was unaware of Toph's prodigious earthbending skills. When Toph and Aang were kidnapped by Xin Fu and his men, Poppy worried about her daughter's safety; after both had been saved, she sided with Lao in his increased fear for their daughter after her husband had witnessed Toph's mastery of earthbending. Realizing that she was a master earthbender only reinforced in her mind that Toph should be guarded even more closely. While Poppy did love Toph, she was extremely overprotective, prompting her daughter to run away from home to become Aang's earthbending teacher. Poppy and Lao assumed she was kidnapped by Aang and commissioned Xin Fu, the promoter of the Earth Rumble VI tournament, and Master Yu, Toph's earthbending teacher, to do "whatever it [took] to bring her home". An endearing letter was forged in her name by Xin Fu and Master Yu when Toph was in Ba Sing Se, drawing her in so they could imprison her and take her back home. Toph later asked Katara to help her write a letter to both her parents using Sokka's messenger hawk.
Poppy Beifong was a very cheery and polite woman. Poppy cared deeply for her daughter and only wished for her safety, but she was far too overprotective of her, even going as far as hiding her existence from the rest of the town. She also seemed to be somewhat simple-minded, and preferred to be submissively supportive of her husband's decisions regarding the care of their daughter rather than making decisions herself.