Poppy and Lao failed to recognize what was best for Toph and believed her blindness was a handicap that made her weak. Due to this fear, Poppy was unaware of Toph's prodigious earthbending skills. As a result, Poppy and her husband made sure that their daughter was protected for the first twelve years of her life.
In 100 AG, AvatarAang and his friends arrived at Poppy and Lao's home, and the couple invited the group to dinner. However, the meal was interrupted by Aang sneezing, causing all the food to fly off the table and an argument between Poppy's daughter and the Avatar. Shortly after dinner, the two left to take a walk. Later that night, when Poppy, Yu, her husband, and Aang's friends ventured outdoors searching for them, they discovered the two had been kidnapped by Xin Fu and his men, causing Poppy to worry about her daughter's safety. Upon going to pay the ransom for their daughter, Poppy and her husband discovered Toph's great earthbending prowess, but this did not assuage their fears; instead, it made her and her husband more fearful. The couple decided that their daughter would have a stricter watch kept over her. 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 that their daughter was kidnapped by Aang and commissioned Xin Fu, the promoter of the Earth Rumble VI tournament, and Master Yu, Toph's earthbending teacher, to bring her home regardless of what it took. The earthbenders failed to capture Toph, however, inciting a rift between Poppy and her husband, whom she blamed for losing their daughter. Eventually, their relationship became so strained that Lao decided to leave Gaoling, while Poppy stayed behind. The two resumed living together only after Lao reconciled with Toph two years later.
In 141 AG, Poppy and Lao gave shelter to their granddaughter Suyin after she was sent away from Republic City by her mother to avoid having to go to jail for participating in a robbery.
Poppy Beifong was a cheery and polite woman. Poppy cared deeply for her daughter and only wished for her safety, but she was very protective of her, even going as far as hiding her existence from the rest of the town, which she believed to be the only way to keep Toph safe. She also preferred to be submissively supportive of her husband's decisions regarding the care of their daughter, rather than making decisions herself.